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In this paper, a spectral encoding and matching algorithm inspired by biological deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) computing is proposed to perform the task of spectral signature classification for hyperspectral remote sensing data. As a novel branch of computational intelligence, DNA computing has the strong computing and matching capability to discriminate the tiny differences in DNA strands by DNA encoding and matching in the molecule layer. Similar to DNA discrimination, a hyperspectral remote sensing data matching approach is used to recognize the land cover material from a spectral library or image, according to the rich spectral information. However, it is difficult to apply DNA computing to hyperspectral remote sensing data processing because traditional DNA computing often relies on biochemical reactions of DNA molecules and may result in incorrect or undesirable computations. To utilize the advantages and avoid the problems of biological DNA computing, an artificial DNA computing approach is proposed for spectral encoding and matching for hyperspectral remote sensing data. A DNA computing-based spectral matching approach is used to first transform spectral signatures into DNA codewords by capturing the key spectral features with a spectral feature encoding operation. After DNA encoding, the typical DNA database for interesting classes is constructed and saved by DNA evolutionary operating mechanisms such as crossover, mutation, and structured mutation. During the course of spectral matching, each pixel of the hyperspectral image, or each signature measured in the field, is input to the constructed DNA database. By computing the distance between an unclassified spectrum and the typical DNA codewords from the database, the class property of each pixel is set as the minimum distance class. Experiments using different hyperspectral data sets were performed to evaluate the performance of the proposed artificial DNA computing-based spectral matching algorithm by comp- ring it with other traditional hyperspectral classifiers, including spectral matching classifiers (binary coding, spectral angle mapper and spectral derivative feature coding (SDFC) matching methods) and a novel statistical method of machine learning termed support vector machine (SVM). Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed algorithm is distinctly superior to the three traditional hyperspectral data classification algorithms. It presents excellent processing efficiency, compared to SVM, with high-dimensional data captured by the Hyperspectral Digital Imagery Collection Experiment sensor, and hence provides an effective option for spectral matching classification of hyperspectral remote sensing data.