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Improved triangular prism methods for fractal analysis of remotely sensed images
- Zhou, Yu, Fung, Tung, Leung, Yee
- Computers & geosciences 2016 v.90 pp. 64-77
- algorithms, case studies, computers, fractal dimensions, prisms, remote sensing, statistical analysis
- Feature extraction has been a major area of research in remote sensing, and fractal feature is a natural characterization of complex objects across scales. Extending on the modified triangular prism (MTP) method, we systematically discuss three factors closely related to the estimation of fractal dimensions of remotely sensed images. They are namely the (F1) number of steps, (F2) step size, and (F3) estimation accuracy of the facets' areas of the triangular prisms. Differing from the existing improved algorithms that separately consider these factors, we simultaneously take all factors to construct three new algorithms, namely the modification of the eight-pixel algorithm, the four corner and the moving-average MTP. Numerical experiments based on 4000 generated images show their superior performances over existing algorithms: our algorithms not only overcome the limitation of image size suffered by existing algorithms but also obtain similar average fractal dimension with smaller standard deviation, only 50% for images with high fractal dimensions. In the case of real-life application, our algorithms more likely obtain fractal dimensions within the theoretical range. Thus, the fractal nature uncovered by our algorithms is more reasonable in quantifying the complexity of remotely sensed images. Despite the similar performance of these three new algorithms, the moving-average MTP can mitigate the sensitivity of the MTP to noise and extreme values. Based on the numerical and real-life case study, we check the effect of the three factors, (F1)–(F3), and demonstrate that these three factors can be simultaneously considered for improving the performance of the MTP method.