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Land cover classification via multitemporal spatial data by deep recurrent neural networks

Ienco D., Gaetano R., Dupaquier C., Maurel P.. 2017. IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters, 14 (10) : p. 1685-1689.

DOI: 10.1109/LGRS.2017.2728698

Nowadays, modern earth observation programs produce huge volumes of satellite images time series that can be useful to monitor geographical areas through time. How to efficiently analyze such a kind of information is still an open question in the remote sensing field. Recently, deep learning methods proved suitable to deal with remote sensing data mainly for scene classification(i.e., convolutional neural networks on single images) while only very few studies exist involving temporal deep learning approaches [i.e., recurrent neural networks (RNNs)] to deal with remote sensing time series. In this letter, we evaluate the ability of RNNs, in particular, the long short-term memory (LSTM) model, to perform land cover classification considering multitemporal spatial data derived from a time series of satellite images. We carried out experiments on two different data sets considering both pixel-based and object-based classifications. The obtained results show that RNNs are competitive compared with the state-of-the-art classifiers, and may outperform classical approaches in the presence of low represented and/or highly mixed classes. We also show that the alternative feature representation generated by LSTM can improve the performances of standard classifiers.

Mots-clés : cartographie de l'occupation du sol; imagerie par satellite; traitement des données; réseau de neurones; deep learning

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