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In this paper, we propose a novel pattern-recognition system to identify and classify buried objects from ground-penetrating radar (GPR) imagery. The entire process is subdivided into four steps. After a preprocessing step, the GPR image is thresholded to put under light the regions containing potential objects. The third step of the system consists of automatically detecting the objects in the obtained binary image by means of a search of linear/hyperbolic patterns formulated within a genetic optimization framework. In the genetic optimizer, each chromosome models the apex position and the curvature associated with the candidate pattern, while the fitness function expresses the Hamming distance between that pattern and the binary image content. Finally, in the fourth step, the problem of the recognition of the material type of the identified objects is approached as a classification issue, which is solved by means of an opportune feature-extraction strategy and a support vector machine classifier. To illustrate the performances of the proposed system, we conducted a thorough experimental study based on GPR images generated by a GPR simulator based on the finite-difference time-domain method so as to construct different acquisition scenarios by varying the number of buried objects, their position, their size, their shape, and their material type. In general, the obtained experimental results show that the proposed system exhibits promising performances both in terms of object detection and material recognition.
Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:47 , Issue: 7 )
Date of Publication: July 2009