Land cover classification with multi-sensor fusion of partly missing data
We describe a system that uses decision tree-based tools for seamless acquisition of knowledge for classification of remotely sensed imagery. We concentrate on three important problems in this process: information fusion, model understandability, and handling of missing data. Importance of multi-sensor information fusion and the use of decision tree classifiers for such problems have been well-studied in the literature. However, these studies have been limited to the cases where all data sources have a full coverage for the scene under consideration. Our contribution in this paper is to show how decision tree classifiers can be learned with alternative (surrogate) decision nodes and result in models that are capable of dealing with missing data during both training and classification to handle cases where one or more measurements do not exist for some locations. We present detailed performance evaluation regarding the effectiveness of these classifiers for information fusion and feature selection, and study three different methods for handling missing data in comparative experiments. The results show that surrogate decisions incorporated into decision tree classifiers provide powerful models for fusing information from different data layers while being robust to missing data. © 2009 American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing.