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Domain-Adapted Convolutional Networks for Satellite Image Classification: A Large-Scale Interactive Learning Workflow...

Publication Type
Journal Name
IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing
Publication Date
Page Numbers
962 to 977

Satellite imagery often exhibits large spatial extent areas that encompass object classes with considerable variability. This often limits large-scale model generalization with machine learning algorithms. Notably, acquisition conditions, including dates, sensor position, lighting condition, and sensor types, often translate into class distribution shifts introducing complex nonlinear factors and hamper the potential impact of machine learning classifiers. This paper investigates the challenge of exploiting satellite images using convolutional neural networks (CNN) for settlement classification where the class distribution shifts are significant. We present a large-scale human settlement mapping workflow based-off multiple modules to adapt a pretrained CNN to address the negative impact of distribution shift on classification performance. To extend a locally trained classifier onto large spatial extents areas we introduce several submodules: First, a human-in-the-loop element for relabeling of misclassified target domain samples to generate representative examples for model adaptation; second, an efficient hashing module to minimize redundancy and noisy samples from the mass-selected examples; and third, a novel relevance ranking module to minimize the dominance of source example on the target domain. The workflow presents a novel and practical approach to achieve large-scale domain adaptation with binary classifiers that are based-off CNN features. Experimental evaluations are conducted on areas of interest that encompass various image characteristics, including multisensors, multitemporal, and multiangular conditions. Domain adaptation is assessed on source–target pairs through the transfer loss and transfer ratio metrics to illustrate the utility of the workflow.