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A novel group squeeze excitation sparsely connected convolutional networks for SAR target classification

Huang, Guoquan, Liu, Xinggao, Hui, Junpeng, Wang, Ze, Zhang, Zeyin
International journal of remote sensing 2019 v.40 no.11 pp. 4346-4360
data collection, neural networks, prediction, remote sensing, synthetic aperture radar, topology
Automatic Target Recognition (ATR) based on Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images plays a key role in military applications. However, there are difficulties with this traditional recognition method. Principally, it is a challenge to design robust features and classifiers for different SAR images. Although Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) are very successful in many image classification tasks, building a deep network with limited labeled data remains a problem. The topologies of CNNs like the fully connected structure will lead to redundant parameters and the negligence of channel-wise information flow. A novel CNNs approach, called Group Squeeze Excitation Sparsely Connected Convolutional Networks (GSESCNNs), is therefore proposed as a solution. The group squeeze excitation performs dynamic channel-wise feature recalibration with less parameters than squeeze excitation. Sparsely connected convolutional networks are a more efficient way to operate the concatenation of feature maps from different layers. Experimental results on Moving and Stationary Target Acquisition and Recognition (MSTAR) SAR images, demonstrate that this approach achieves, at 99.79%, the best prediction accuracy, outperforming the most common skip connection models, such as Residual Networks and Densely Connected Convolutional Networks, as well as other methods reported in the MSTAR dataset.