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Open AccessArticle

Performance Comparison of Machine Learning Algorithms for Estimating the Soil Salinity of Salt-Affected Soil Using Field Spectral Data

by Sijia Wang 1,2, Yunhao Chen 1,2,*, Mingguo Wang 3 and Jing Li 1,2
1
State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science, Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
2
Beijing Key Laboratory of Environmental Remote Sensing and Digital City, Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
3
NingXia Agriculture Technology Extension Service Centre, Yinchuan 750001, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(22), 2605; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11222605
Received: 29 August 2019 / Revised: 1 November 2019 / Accepted: 5 November 2019 / Published: 6 November 2019
Salt-affected soil is a prominent ecological and environmental problem in dry farming areas throughout the world. China has nearly 9.9 million km 2 of salt-affected land. The identification, monitoring, and utilization of soil salinization have become important research topics for promoting sustainable progress. In this paper, using field-measured spectral data and soil salinity parameter data, through analysis and transformation of spectral data, five machine learning models, namely, random forest regression (RFR), support vector regression (SVR), gradient-boosted regression tree (GBRT), multilayer perceptron regression (MLPR), and least angle regression (Lars) are compared. The following performance measures of each model were evaluated: the collinear problems, handling data noise, stability, and the accuracy. In terms of these four aspects, the performance of each model on estimating soil salinity is evaluated. The results demonstrate that among the five models, RFR has the best performance in dealing with collinearity, RFR and MLPR have the best performance in dealing with data noise, and the SVR model is the most stable. The Lars model has the highest accuracy, with a determination coefficient ( R 2 ) of 0.87, ratio of performance to deviation (RPD) of 2.67, root mean square error (RMSE) of 0.18, and mean absolute percentage error (MAPE) of 0.11. Then, the comprehensive comparison and analysis of the five models are carried out, and it is found that the comprehensive performance of RFR model is the best; hence, this method is most suitable for estimating soil salinity using hyperspectral data. This study can provide a reference for the selection of regression methods in subsequent studies on estimating soil salinity using hyperspectral data. View Full-Text
Keywords: RFR; SVR; GBRT; MLPR; Lars; soil salt content; hyperspectral RFR; SVR; GBRT; MLPR; Lars; soil salt content; hyperspectral
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, S.; Chen, Y.; Wang, M.; Li, J. Performance Comparison of Machine Learning Algorithms for Estimating the Soil Salinity of Salt-Affected Soil Using Field Spectral Data. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 2605.

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