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Using convolutional features and a sparse autoencoder for land-use scene classification

Othman, Esam, Bazi, Yakoub, Alajlan, Naif, Alhichri, Haikel, Melgani, Farid
International journal of remote sensing 2016 v.37 no.10 pp. 2149-2167
artificial intelligence, classification, data collection, land use, neural networks, remote sensing, California
In this article, we propose a novel approach based on convolutional features and sparse autoencoder (AE) for scene-level land-use (LU) classification. This approach starts by generating an initial feature representation of the scenes under analysis from a deep convolutional neural network (CNN) pre-learned on a large amount of labelled data from an auxiliary domain. Then these convolutional features are fed as input to a sparse AE for learning a new suitable representation in an unsupervised manner. After this pre-training phase, we propose two different scenarios for building the classification system. In the first scenario, we add a softmax layer on the top of the AE encoding layer and then fine-tune the resulting network in a supervised manner using the target training images available at hand. Then we classify the test images based on the posterior probabilities provided by the softmax layer. In the second scenario, we view the classification problem from a reconstruction perspective. To this end we train several class-specific AEs (i.e. one AE per class) and then classify the test images based on the reconstruction error. Experimental results conducted on the University of California (UC) Merced and Banja-Luka LU public data sets confirm the superiority of the proposed approach compared to state-of-the-art methods.