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Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) has been intensively used for sea-ice monitoring in polar regions. A computer-assisted analysis of SAR sea-ice imagery is extremely difficult due to numerous imaging parameters and environmental factors. This paper presents a system which, with some limited information provided, is able to perform an automated segmentation and classification for the SAR sea-ice imagery. In the system, both the segmentation and classification processes are based on a Markov random-field theory and are formulated in a joint manner under the Bayesian framework. Solutions to the formulation are obtained by a region-growing technique which keeps refining the segmentation and producing semantic class labels at the same time in an iterative manner. The algorithm is a general-segmentation approach named iterative region growing using semantics, which, in this paper, is dedicated to the problem of classifying the operational SAR sea-ice imagery provided by the Canadian Ice Service (CIS). The classified image results have been validated by the CIS personnel, and the resulting classifications are quite successful using the same algorithm applied to diverse data sets.
Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:45 , Issue: 12 )
Date of Publication: Dec. 2007