Convolutional neural networks (CNNs) can adapt to more complex data, extract deeper characteristics from images, and achieve higher classification accuracy in remote sensing image scene classification and object detection compared to traditional shallow-model methods. However, directly applying common-structure CNNs to pixel-based remote sensing image classification will lead to boundary or outline distortions of the land cover and consumes enormous computation time in the image classification stage. To solve this problem, we propose a high-resolution remote sensing image classification method based on CNN and the restricted conditional random field algorithm (CNN-RCRF). CNN-RCRF adopts CNN superpixel classification instead of pixel-based classification and uses the restricted conditional random field algorithm (RCRF) to refine the superpixel result image into a pixel-based result. The proposed method not only takes advantage of the classification ability of CNNs but can also avoid boundary or outline distortions of the land cover and greatly reduce computation time in classifying images. The effectiveness of the proposed method is tested with two high-resolution remote sensing images, and the experimental results show that the CNN-RCRF outperforms the existing traditional methods in terms of overall accuracy, and CNN-RCRF’s computation time is much less than that of traditional pixel-based deep-model methods.
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