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An effective approach for land-cover classification from airborne lidar fused with co-registered data

Cao, Y., Wei, H., Zhao, H. and Li, N. (2012) An effective approach for land-cover classification from airborne lidar fused with co-registered data. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 33 (18). pp. 5927-5953. ISSN 0143-1161

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/01431161.2012.676746


Airborne lidar provides accurate height information of objects on the earth and has been recognized as a reliable and accurate surveying tool in many applications. In particular, lidar data offer vital and significant features for urban land-cover classification, which is an important task in urban land-use studies. In this article, we present an effective approach in which lidar data fused with its co-registered images (i.e. aerial colour images containing red, green and blue (RGB) bands and near-infrared (NIR) images) and other derived features are used effectively for accurate urban land-cover classification. The proposed approach begins with an initial classification performed by the Dempster–Shafer theory of evidence with a specifically designed basic probability assignment function. It outputs two results, i.e. the initial classification and pseudo-training samples, which are selected automatically according to the combined probability masses. Second, a support vector machine (SVM)-based probability estimator is adopted to compute the class conditional probability (CCP) for each pixel from the pseudo-training samples. Finally, a Markov random field (MRF) model is established to combine spatial contextual information into the classification. In this stage, the initial classification result and the CCP are exploited. An efficient belief propagation (EBP) algorithm is developed to search for the global minimum-energy solution for the maximum a posteriori (MAP)-MRF framework in which three techniques are developed to speed up the standard belief propagation (BP) algorithm. Lidar and its co-registered data acquired by Toposys Falcon II are used in performance tests. The experimental results prove that fusing the height data and optical images is particularly suited for urban land-cover classification. There is no training sample needed in the proposed approach, and the computational cost is relatively low. An average classification accuracy of 93.63% is achieved.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Computer Science
ID Code:31760
Publisher:Taylor & Francis

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