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Quantitative comparison of the performance of SAR segmentation algorithms

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3 Author(s)
R. Caves ; Centre for Earth Obs. Sci., Sheffield Univ., UK ; S. Quegan ; R. White

Methods to evaluate the performance of segmentation algorithms for synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images are developed, based on known properties of coherent speckle and a scene model in which areas of constant backscatter coefficient are separated by abrupt edges. Local and global measures of segmentation homogeneity are derived and applied to the outputs of two segmentation algorithms developed for SAR data, one based on iterative edge detection and segment growing, the other based on global maximum a posteriori (MAP) estimation using simulated annealing. The quantitative statistically based measures appear consistent with visual impressions of the relative quality of the segmentations produced by the two algorithms. On simulated data meeting algorithm assumptions, both algorithms performed well but MAP methods appeared visually and measurably better. On real data, MAP estimation was markedly the better method and retained performance comparable to that on simulated data, while the performance of the other algorithm deteriorated sharply. Improvements in the performance measures will require a more realistic scene model and techniques to recognize oversegmentation

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Image Processing  (Volume:7 ,  Issue: 11 )