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Of recent interest in automatic target recognition (ATR) is the problem of combining the merits of multiple classifiers. This is commonly done by “fusing” the soft-outputs of several classifiers into making a single decision. We observe that the improvement in recognition rates afforded by these approaches is due to the complementary yet correlated information captured by different features/signal representations that these individual classifiers employ. We present the use of probabilistic graphical models in modeling and capturing feature dependencies that are crucial for target classification. In particular, we develop a two-stage target recognition framework that combines the merits of distinct and sparse signal representations with discriminatively learnt graphical models. The first stage designs multiple projections yielding M >; 1 sparse representations, while the second stage models each individual representation using graphs and combines these initially disjoint and simple graphical models into a thicker probabilistic graphical model. Experimental results show that our approach outperforms state-of-the art target classification techniques in terms of recognition rates. The use of graphical models is particularly meritorious when feature dimensionality is high and training is limited - a commonly observed constraint in synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery based target recognition.
Date of Conference: 11-14 Sept. 2011