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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(8), 769; doi:10.3390/rs9080769

On the Objectivity of the Objective Function—Problems with Unsupervised Segmentation Evaluation Based on Global Score and a Possible Remedy

Institute of Surveying, Remote Sensing and Land Information (IVFL), University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU), Peter Jordan Strasse 82, 1190 Vienna, Austria
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Received: 14 June 2017 / Revised: 19 July 2017 / Accepted: 25 July 2017 / Published: 27 July 2017
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Abstract

Image segmentation is a crucial stage at the very beginning of many geographic object-based image analysis (GEOBIA) workflows. While segmentation quality is generally deemed of great importance, selecting adequate tuning parameters for a segmentation algorithm can be tedious and subjective. Procedures to automatically choose parameters of a segmentation algorithm are meant to make the process objective and reproducible. One of those approaches, and perhaps the most frequently used unsupervised parameter optimization method in the context of GEOBIA is called the objective function, also known as Global Score. Unfortunately, the method exhibits a hitherto widely neglected, yet severe source of instability, which makes quality rankings inconsistent. We demonstrate the issue in detail and propose a modification of the Global Score to mitigate the problem. This hopefully serves as a starting point to spark further development of the popular approach. View Full-Text
Keywords: segmentation evaluation; GEOBIA; parameter optimization; Global Score segmentation evaluation; GEOBIA; parameter optimization; Global Score
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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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MDPI and ACS Style

Böck, S.; Immitzer, M.; Atzberger, C. On the Objectivity of the Objective Function—Problems with Unsupervised Segmentation Evaluation Based on Global Score and a Possible Remedy. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 769.

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