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Spatial-Spectral Preprocessing Prior to Endmember Identification and Unmixing of Remotely Sensed Hyperspectral Data

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2 Author(s)
Gabriel Martin ; Hyperspectral Computing Laboratory, Department of Technology of Computers and Communications, University of Extremadura, Cáceres, Spain ; Antonio Plaza

Spectral unmixing amounts at estimating the abundance of pure spectral signatures (called endmembers) in each mixed pixel of a hyperspectral image, where mixed pixels arise due to insufficient spatial resolution and other phenomena. A challenging problem is how to automatically identify endmembers, as the presence of mixed pixels generally prevents the localization of pure spectral signatures in transition areas between different land-cover classes. A possible strategy to address this problem is to guide the endmember identification process to spatially homogeneous areas, expected to contain the purest signatures available in the scene. For this purpose, several spatial preprocessing methods have been used prior to endmember identification. However, the preprocessing methods developed thus far only exploit the spatial information and relegate the use of spectral information to the subsequent endmember identification stage. In this paper, we develop a new spatial-spectral preprocessing (SSPP) module which can be used prior to endmember identification and spectral unmixing. The method first derives a spatial homogeneity index for each pixel in the hyperspectral image. This index is relatively insensitive to the noise present in the data. At the same time, it performs unsupervised clustering to identify a set of clusters in spectral space. Finally, it fuses spatial and spectral information by selecting a subset of spatially homogeneous and spectrally pure pixels from each cluster. These pixels constitute the new set of candidates for endmember identification. An innovative contribution of this paper is the combination of spatial and spectral information at the preprocessing stage. Another contribution is the combination, for the first time in the literature, of preprocessing techniques with endmember identification algorithms that do not assume the presence of pure signatures in the scene. An experimental comparison of the proposed method in combination with different- endmember identification techniques is conducted using both synthetic and real hyperspectral data collected by the Airborne Visible Infra-Red Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS). Our experiments indicate that endmember identification techniques (with and without the pure signature assumption) can greatly benefit from the proposed preprocessing approach, which considers both spatial and spectral information.

Published in:

IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing  (Volume:5 ,  Issue: 2 )