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Automated Non-Gaussian Clustering of Polarimetric Synthetic Aperture Radar Images

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3 Author(s)
Anthony P. Doulgeris ; Dept. of Phys. & Technol., Univ. of Tromso, Tromsø, Norway ; Stian Normann Anfinsen ; Torbjørn Eltoft

This paper presents an automatic image segmentation method for polarimetric synthetic aperture radar data. It utilizes the full polarimetric information and incorporates texture by modeling with a non-Gaussian distribution for the complex scattering coefficients. The modeling is based upon the well-known product model, with a Gamma-distributed texture parameter leading to the K-Wishart model for the covariance matrix. The automatic clustering is achieved through a finite mixture model estimated with a modified expectation maximization algorithm. We include an additional goodness-of-fit test stage that allows for splitting and merging of clusters. This not only improves the model fit of the clusters, but also dynamically selects the appropriate number of clusters. The resulting image segmentation depicts the statistically significant clusters within the image. A key feature is that the degree of sub-sampling of the input image will affect the detail level of the clustering, revealing only the major classes or a variable level of detail. Real-world examples are shown to demonstrate the technique.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing  (Volume:49 ,  Issue: 10 )