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Linear spectral unmixing is an important task in remotely sensed hyperspectral data exploitation. This approach first identifies a collection of spectrally pure constituent spectra, called endmembers, and then expresses the measured spectrum of each mixed pixel as a combination of endmembers weighted by fractions or abundances that indicate the proportion of each endmember in the pixel. Over the last decade, several algorithms have been developed for automatic extraction of spectral endmembers from hyperspectral data, with many of them relying exclusively on the spectral information. In this letter, we develop a novel unsupervised spatial preprocessing (SPP) module which adopts a region-based approach for the characterization of each endmember class prior to endmember identification using spectral information. The proposed approach can be combined with any spectral-based endmember extraction technique. Our method is validated using both synthetic scenes constructed using fractals and a real hyperspectral data set collected by NASA's Airborne Visible Infrared Imaging Spectrometer over the Cuprite Mining District in Nevada and further compared with previous efforts in the same direction such as the spatial-spectral endmember extraction, automatic morphological endmember extraction, or SPP methods.
Date of Publication: July 2011