Cost-Sensitive and Modular Land-Cover Classification based on Posterior Probability Estimates Articles uri icon

publication date

  • November 2009

start page

  • 5877

end page

  • 5899


  • 22


  • 30

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0143-1161

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1366-5901


  • Many types of nonlinear classifiers have been proposed to automatically generate land-cover maps from satellite images. Some are based on the estimation of posterior class probabilities, whereas others estimate the decision boundary directly. In this paper, we propose a modular design able to focus the learning process on the decision boundary by using posterior probability estimates. To do so, we use a self-configuring architecture that incorporates specialized modules to deal with conflicting classes, and we apply a learning algorithm that focuses learning on the posterior probability regions that are critical for the performance of the decision problem stated by the user-defined misclassification costs. Moreover, we show that by filtering the posterior probability map, the impulsive noise, which is a common effect in automatic land-cover classification, can be significantly reduced. Experimental results show the effectiveness of the proposed solutions on real multi- and hyperspectral images, versus other typical approaches, that are not based on probability estimates, such as Support Vector Machines.