Skip to Main Content
A new hyperspectral endmember detection method that represents endmembers as distributions, autonomously partitions the input data set into several convex regions, and simultaneously determines endmember distributions (EDs) and proportion values for each convex region is presented. Spectral unmixing methods that treat endmembers as distributions or hyperspectral images as piecewise convex data sets have not been previously developed. Piecewise convex endmember (PCE) detection can be viewed in two parts. The first part, the ED detection algorithm, estimates a distribution for each endmember rather than estimating a single spectrum. By using EDs, PCE can incorporate an endmember's inherent spectral variation and the variation due to changing environmental conditions. ED uses a new sparsity-promoting polynomial prior while estimating abundance values. The second part of PCE partitions the input hyperspectral data set into convex regions and estimates EDs and proportions for each of these regions. The number of convex regions is determined autonomously using the Dirichlet process. PCE is effective at handling highly mixed hyperspectral images where all of the pixels in the scene contain mixtures of multiple endmembers. Furthermore, each convex region found by PCE conforms to the convex geometry model for hyperspectral imagery. This model requires that the proportions associated with a pixel be nonnegative and sum to one. Algorithm results on hyperspectral data indicate that PCE produces endmembers that represent the true ground-truth classes of the input data set. The algorithm can also effectively represent endmembers as distributions, thus incorporating an endmember's spectral variability.