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Consensual and hierarchical approaches are developed for the classification of remotely sensed multispectral images. The proposed method consists of preprocessing of input patterns, generating multiple classification results by hierarchical neural networks, and a combining scheme to generate a consensus of multiple classification results. Transformations of input patterns by random matrices and nonlinear filtering are used for preprocessing. By varying the input patterns, the multiple classification results are generated with sufficiently independent errors by using a single type of classifier. This helps to improve classification performance when the multiple classification results are combined. Hierarchical neural networks involve the use of successive classifiers which are tuned to reduce the remaining errors to increase the classification performance. This structure includes detection schemes to decide whether successive classifiers are utilized for each input. Consensual and hierarchical approaches generate more reliable and accurate results based on group decision.