Exploring Subpixel Learning Algorithms for Estimating Global Land Cover Fractions from Satellite Data Using High Performance Computing
AbstractLand cover (LC) refers to the physical and biological cover present over the Earth’s surface in terms of the natural environment such as vegetation, water, bare soil, etc. Most LC features occur at finer spatial scales compared to the resolution of primary remote sensing satellites. Therefore, observed data are a mixture of spectral signatures of two or more LC features resulting in mixed pixels. One solution to the mixed pixel problem is the use of subpixel learning algorithms to disintegrate the pixel spectrum into its constituent spectra. Despite the popularity and existing research conducted on the topic, the most appropriate approach is still under debate. As an attempt to address this question, we compared the performance of several subpixel learning algorithms based on least squares, sparse regression, signal–subspace and geometrical methods. Analysis of the results obtained through computer-simulated and Landsat data indicated that fully constrained least squares (FCLS) outperformed the other techniques. Further, FCLS was used to unmix global Web-Enabled Landsat Data to obtain abundances of substrate (S), vegetation (V) and dark object (D) classes. Due to the sheer nature of data and computational needs, we leveraged the NASA Earth Exchange (NEX) high-performance computing architecture to optimize and scale our algorithm for large-scale processing. Subsequently, the S-V-D abundance maps were characterized into four classes, namely forest, farmland, water and urban areas (in conjunction with nighttime lights data) over California, USA using a random forest classifier. Validation of these LC maps with the National Land Cover Database 2011 products and North American Forest Dynamics static forest map shows a 6% improvement in unmixing-based classification relative to per-pixel classification. As such, abundance maps continue to offer a useful alternative to high-spatial-resolution classified maps for forest inventory analysis, multi-class mapping, multi-temporal trend analysis, etc. View Full-Text
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Kumar, U.; Ganguly, S.; Nemani, R.R.; Raja, K.S.; Milesi, C.; Sinha, R.; Michaelis, A.; Votava, P.; Hashimoto, H.; Li, S.; Wang, W.; Kalia, S.; Gayaka, S. Exploring Subpixel Learning Algorithms for Estimating Global Land Cover Fractions from Satellite Data Using High Performance Computing. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 1105.
Kumar U, Ganguly S, Nemani RR, Raja KS, Milesi C, Sinha R, Michaelis A, Votava P, Hashimoto H, Li S, Wang W, Kalia S, Gayaka S. Exploring Subpixel Learning Algorithms for Estimating Global Land Cover Fractions from Satellite Data Using High Performance Computing. Remote Sensing. 2017; 9(11):1105.Chicago/Turabian Style
Kumar, Uttam; Ganguly, Sangram; Nemani, Ramakrishna R.; Raja, Kumar S; Milesi, Cristina; Sinha, Ruchita; Michaelis, Andrew; Votava, Petr; Hashimoto, Hirofumi; Li, Shuang; Wang, Weile; Kalia, Subodh; Gayaka, Shreekant. 2017. "Exploring Subpixel Learning Algorithms for Estimating Global Land Cover Fractions from Satellite Data Using High Performance Computing." Remote Sens. 9, no. 11: 1105.
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