Classifying hyperspectral images (HSIs) with limited samples is a challenging issue. The generative adversarial network (GAN) is a promising technique to mitigate the small sample size problem. GAN can generate samples by the competition between a generator and a discriminator. However, it is difficult to generate high-quality samples for HSIs with complex spatial–spectral distribution, which may further degrade the performance of the discriminator. To address this problem, a symmetric convolutional GAN based on collaborative learning and attention mechanism (CA-GAN) is proposed. In CA-GAN, the generator and the discriminator not only compete but also collaborate. The shallow to deep features of real multiclass samples in the discriminator assist the sample generation in the generator. In the generator, a joint spatial–spectral hard attention module is devised by defining a dynamic activation function based on a multi-branch convolutional network. It impels the distribution of generated samples to approximate the distribution of real HSIs both in spectral and spatial dimensions, and it discards misleading and confounding information. In the discriminator, a convolutional LSTM layer is merged to extract spatial contextual features and capture long-term spectral dependencies simultaneously. Finally, the classification performance of the discriminator is improved by enforcing competitive and collaborative learning between the discriminator and generator. Experiments on HSI datasets show that CA-GAN obtains satisfactory classification results compared with advanced methods, especially when the number of training samples is limited.
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