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Unsupervised polarimetric SAR image segmentation and classification using region growing with edge penalty

TitleUnsupervised polarimetric SAR image segmentation and classification using region growing with edge penalty
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsYu, P., D. A. Clausi, and K. Qin
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Volume50
Issue4
Pagination1302 - 1317
Keywordscomplex, image segmentation, Markov random field (MRF), polarimetry, region adjacency graph (RAG), region-based, synthetic aperture radar (SAR), Wishart
Abstract

A region-based unsupervised segmentation and classification algorithm for polarimetric SAR imagery that incorporates region growing and a Markov random field (MRF) edge strength model is designed and implemented. This algorithm is an extension of the successful Iterative Region Growing with Semantics (IRGS) segmentation and classification algorithm, which was designed for amplitude only SAR imagery, to polarimetric data. Polarimetric IRGS (PolarIRGS) extends IRGS by incorporating a polarimetric feature model based on the Wishart distribution and modifying key steps such as initialization, edge strength computation and the region growing criterion. Like IRGS, PolarIRGS oversegments an image into regions and employs iterative region growing to reduce the size of the solution search space. The incorporation of an edge penalty in the spatial context model improves segmentation performance by preserving segment boundaries that traditional spatial models will smooth over. Evaluation of PolarIRGS with Flevoland fully polarimetric data shows that it improves upon two other recently published techniques in terms of classification accuracy.