A hyperspectral image usually covers a large scale of ground scene, which contains various materials with different spectral properties. When directly exploring the background information using all the image pixels, complex spectral interactions and inter-/intra-difference of different samples will significantly reduce the accuracy of background evaluation and further affect the detection performance. To address this problem, this paper proposes a novel hyperspectral anomaly detection method based on separability-aware sample cascade model. Through identifying separability of hyperspectral pixels, background samples are sifted out layer-by-layer according to their separable degrees from anomalies, which can ensure the accuracy and distinctiveness of background representation. First, as spatial structure is beneficial for recognizing target, a new spectral–spatial feature extraction technique is used in this work based on the PCA technique and edge-preserving filtering. Second, depending on different separability computed by sparse representation, samples are separated into different sets which can effectively and completely reflect various characteristics of background across all the cascade layers. Meanwhile, some potential abnormal targets are removed at each selection step to avoid their effects on subsequent layers. Finally, comprehensively taking different good properties of all the separability-aware layers into consideration, a simple multilayer anomaly detection strategy is adopted to obtain the final detection map. Extensive experimental results on five real-world hyperspectral images demonstrate our method’s superior performance. Compared with seven representative anomaly detection methods, our method improves the average detection accuracy with great advantages.
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