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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(11), 1198;

Airport Detection Using End-to-End Convolutional Neural Network with Hard Example Mining

Image Processing Center, School of Astronautics, Beihang University, Beijing 100191, China
Beijing Key Laboratory of Digital Media, Beihang University, Beijing 100191, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
This paper is an extended version of our paper published in Bowen Cai, Zhiguo Jiang, Haopeng Zhang, et al. Training Deep Convolution Neural Wetwork with Hard Example Mining for Airport Detection. In Proceedings of the 2017 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS 2017), Fort Worth, TX, USA, 23–28 July 2017.
Received: 10 October 2017 / Revised: 14 November 2017 / Accepted: 18 November 2017 / Published: 21 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensing Image Processing)
PDF [11161 KB, uploaded 23 November 2017]


Deep convolutional neural network (CNN) achieves outstanding performance in the field of target detection. As one of the most typical targets in remote sensing images (RSIs), airport has attracted increasing attention in recent years. However, the essential challenge for using deep CNN to detect airport is the great imbalance between the number of airports and background examples in large-scale RSIs, which may lead to over-fitting. In this paper, we develop a hard example mining and weight-balanced strategy to construct a novel end-to-end convolutional neural network for airport detection. The initial motivation of the proposed method is that backgrounds contain an overwhelming number of easy examples and a few hard examples. Therefore, we design a hard example mining layer to automatically select hard examples by their losses, and implement a new weight-balanced loss function to optimize CNN. Meanwhile, the cascade design of proposal extraction and object detection in our network releases the constraint on input image size and reduces spurious false positives. Compared with geometric characteristics and low-level manually designed features, the hard example mining based network could extract high-level features, which is more robust for airport detection in complex environment. The proposed method is validated on a multi-scale dataset with complex background collected from Google Earth. The experimental results demonstrate that our proposed method is robust, and superior to the state-of-the-art airport detection models. View Full-Text
Keywords: airport detection; hard example mining; convolutional neural network; region proposal network airport detection; hard example mining; convolutional neural network; region proposal network

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Cai, B.; Jiang, Z.; Zhang, H.; Zhao, D.; Yao, Y. Airport Detection Using End-to-End Convolutional Neural Network with Hard Example Mining. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 1198.

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