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Remote Sens. 2014, 6(12), 12005-12036; doi:10.3390/rs61212005

Burned Area Mapping Using Support Vector Machines and the FuzCoC Feature Selection Method on VHR IKONOS Imagery

Laboratory of Forest Management and Remote Sensing, School of Forestry and Natural Environment, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki 54124, Greece
School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki 54124, Greece
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 July 2014 / Revised: 30 September 2014 / Accepted: 19 November 2014 / Published: 3 December 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quantifying the Environmental Impact of Forest Fires)
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The ever increasing need for accurate burned area mapping has led to a number of studies that focus on improving the mapping accuracy and effectiveness. In this work, we investigate the influence of derivative spectral and spatial features on accurately mapping recently burned areas using VHR IKONOS imagery. Our analysis considers both pixel and object-based approaches, using two advanced image analysis techniques: (a) an efficient feature selection method based on the Fuzzy Complementary Criterion (FuzCoC) and (b) the Support Vector Machine (SVM) classifier. In both cases (pixel and object-based), a number of higher-order spectral and spatial features were produced from the original image. The proposed methodology was tested in areas of Greece recently affected by severe forest fires, namely, Parnitha and Rhodes. The extensive comparative analysis indicates that the SVM object-based scheme exhibits higher classification accuracy than the respective pixel-based one. Additionally, the accuracy increased with the addition of derivative features and subsequent implementation of the FuzCoC feature selection (FS) method. Apart from the positive effect in the classification accuracy, the application of the FuzCoC FS method significantly reduces the computational requirements and facilitates the manipulation of the large data volume. In both cases (pixel and objet) the results confirmed that the use of an efficient feature selection method is a prerequisite step when extra information through higher-order features is added to the classification process of VHR imagery for burned area mapping. View Full-Text
Keywords: Fuzzy Complementary Criterion (FuzCoC); Object-Based Image Analysis (OBIA); pixel-based classification; burned area mapping Fuzzy Complementary Criterion (FuzCoC); Object-Based Image Analysis (OBIA); pixel-based classification; burned area mapping

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Dragozi, E.; Gitas, I.Z.; Stavrakoudis, D.G.; Theocharis, J.B. Burned Area Mapping Using Support Vector Machines and the FuzCoC Feature Selection Method on VHR IKONOS Imagery. Remote Sens. 2014, 6, 12005-12036.

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