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Sentinel-2 Image Scene Classification: A Comparison between Sen2Cor and a Machine Learning Approach

Kashyap Raiyani, Teresa Gonçalves, Luís Rato, Pedro Salgueiro, José R. Marques da Silva
Remote Sensing 2021 v.13 no.2 pp. -
area, artificial intelligence, classification, cropland, data collection, databases, dynamics, food industry, land cover, land use, learning, models, paper, population, reflectance, remote sensing, research, snow, water
Given the continuous increase in the global population, the food manufacturers are advocated to either intensify the use of cropland or expand the farmland, making land cover and land usage dynamics mapping vital in the area of remote sensing. In this regard, identifying and classifying a high-resolution satellite imagery scene is a prime challenge. Several approaches have been proposed either by using static rule-based thresholds (with limitation of diversity) or neural network (with data-dependent limitations). This paper adopts the inductive approach to learning from surface reflectances. A manually labeled Sentinel-2 dataset was used to build a Machine Learning (ML) model for scene classification, distinguishing six classes (Water, Shadow, Cirrus, Cloud, Snow, and Other). This models was accessed and further compared to the European Space Agency (ESA) Sen2Cor package. The proposed ML model presents a Micro-F1 value of 0.84, a considerable improvement when compared to the Sen2Cor corresponding performance of 0.59. Focusing on the problem of optical satellite image scene classification, the main research contributions of this paper are: (a) an extended manually labeled Sentinel-2 database adding surface reflectance values to an existing dataset; (b) an ensemble-based and a Neural-Network-based ML models; (c) an evaluation of model sensitivity, biasness, and diverse ability in classifying multiple classes over different geographic Sentinel-2 imagery, and finally, (d) the benchmarking of the ML approach against the Sen2Cor package.