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Remote Sens. 2016, 8(12), 977;

Quantitative Analysis of Polarimetric Model-Based Decomposition Methods

School of Geosciences and Info-Physics, Central South University, Changsha 410083, China
Institute for Computing Research (IUII), University of Alicante, Alicante E-03080, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Xiaofeng Li and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 7 September 2016 / Revised: 26 October 2016 / Accepted: 16 November 2016 / Published: 25 November 2016
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In this paper, we analyze the robustness of the parameter inversion provided by general polarimetric model-based decomposition methods from the perspective of a quantitative application. The general model and algorithm we have studied is the method proposed recently by Chen et al., which makes use of the complete polarimetric information and outperforms traditional decomposition methods in terms of feature extraction from land covers. Nevertheless, a quantitative analysis on the retrieved parameters from that approach suggests that further investigations are required in order to fully confirm the links between a physically-based model (i.e., approaches derived from the Freeman–Durden concept) and its outputs as intermediate products before any biophysical parameter retrieval is addressed. To this aim, we propose some modifications on the optimization algorithm employed for model inversion, including redefined boundary conditions, transformation of variables, and a different strategy for values initialization. A number of Monte Carlo simulation tests for typical scenarios are carried out and show that the parameter estimation accuracy of the proposed method is significantly increased with respect to the original implementation. Fully polarimetric airborne datasets at L-band acquired by German Aerospace Center’s (DLR’s) experimental synthetic aperture radar (E-SAR) system were also used for testing purposes. The results show different qualitative descriptions of the same cover from six different model-based methods. According to the Bragg coefficient ratio (i.e., β ), they are prone to provide wrong numerical inversion results, which could prevent any subsequent quantitative characterization of specific areas in the scene. Besides the particular improvements proposed over an existing polarimetric inversion method, this paper is aimed at pointing out the necessity of checking quantitatively the accuracy of model-based PolSAR techniques for a reliable physical description of land covers beyond their proven utility for qualitative features extraction. View Full-Text
Keywords: model-based decomposition; polarimetric synthetic aperture radar (PolSAR); quantitative analysis; Monte Carlo simulations model-based decomposition; polarimetric synthetic aperture radar (PolSAR); quantitative analysis; Monte Carlo simulations

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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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Xie, Q.; Ballester-Berman, J.D.; Lopez-Sanchez, J.M.; Zhu, J.; Wang, C. Quantitative Analysis of Polarimetric Model-Based Decomposition Methods. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 977.

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