Interactive training of advanced classifiers for mining remote sensing image archives
Advances in satellite technology and availability of down-loaded images constantly increase the sizes of remote sensing image archives. Automatic content extraction, classification and content-based retrieval have become highly desired goals for the development of intelligent remote sensing databases. The common approach for mining these databases uses rules created by analysts. However, incorporating GIS information and human expert knowledge with digital image processing improves remote sensing image analysis. We developed a system that uses decision tree classifiers for interactive learning of land cover models and mining of image archives. Decision trees provide a promising solution for this problem because they can operate on both numerical (continuous) and categorical (discrete) data sources, and they do not require any assumptions about neither the distributions nor the independence of attribute values. This is especially important for the fusion of measurements from different sources like spectral data, DEM data and other ancillary GIS data. Furthermore, using surrogate splits provides the capability of dealing with missing data during both training and classification, and enables handling instrument malfunctions or the cases where one or more measurements do not exist for some locations. Quantitative and qualitative performance evaluation showed that decision trees provide powerful tools for modeling both pixel and region contents of images and mining of remote sensing image archives.