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Open AccessArticle

Purifying SLIC Superpixels to Optimize Superpixel-Based Classification of High Spatial Resolution Remote Sensing Image

by Hengjian Tong 1, Fei Tong 1,2,*, Wei Zhou 1 and Yun Zhang 2
1
School of Computer Science, China University of Geosciences, Lumo Road 388, Wuhan 430074, China
2
Department of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering, CRC-Laboratory in Advanced Geomatics Image Processing, University of New Brunswick, 15 Dineen Drive, Fredericton, NB E3B 5A3, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(22), 2627; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11222627
Received: 3 October 2019 / Revised: 1 November 2019 / Accepted: 7 November 2019 / Published: 10 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Robust Multispectral/Hyperspectral Image Analysis and Classification)
Fast and accurate classification of high spatial resolution remote sensing image is important for many applications. The usage of superpixels in classification has been proposed to accelerate the speed of classification. However, although most superpixels only contain pixels from single class, there are still some mixed superpixels, which mostly locate near the edge of different classes, and contain pixels from more than one class. Such mixed superpixels will cause misclassification regardless of classification methods used. In this paper, a superpixels purification algorithm based on color quantization is proposed to purify mixed Simple Linear Iterative Clustering (SLIC) superpixels. After purifying, the mixed SLIC superpixel will be separated into smaller superpixels. These smaller superpixels are pure superpixels which only contain a single kind of ground object. The experiments on images from the dataset BSDS500 show that the purified SLIC superpixels outperform the original SLIC superpixels on three segmentation evaluation metrics. With the purified SLIC superpixels, a classification scheme in which only edge superpixels are selected to be purified is proposed. The strategy of purifying edge superpixels not only improves the efficiency of the algorithm, but also improves the accuracy of the classification. The experiments on a remote sensing image from WorldView-2 satellite demonstrate that purified SLIC superpixels at all scales can generate classification result with higher accuracy than original SLIC superpixels, especially at the scale of 20 × 20 , for which the accuracy increase is higher than 4%.
Keywords: classification; high spatial resolution image; purified superpixel; edge superpixels; SLIC; color quantization classification; high spatial resolution image; purified superpixel; edge superpixels; SLIC; color quantization
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Tong, H.; Tong, F.; Zhou, W.; Zhang, Y. Purifying SLIC Superpixels to Optimize Superpixel-Based Classification of High Spatial Resolution Remote Sensing Image. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 2627.

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