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Open AccessArticle

The Hyper-Angular Cube Concept for Improving the Spatial and Acoustic Resolution of MBES Backscatter Angular Response Analysis

1
Institute for Mediterranean Studies, Foundation of Research and Technology—Hellas, Melissinou & Nikiforou Foka 130, P.O. Box. 119, Rethymno 74100, Greece
2
GEOMAR Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research, Kiel 24148, Germany
3
Christian-Albrechts University Kiel, Institute of Geosciences; Ludewig-Meyn-Str. 10-12, 24098 Kiel, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Geosciences 2018, 8(12), 446; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8120446
Received: 16 October 2018 / Revised: 24 November 2018 / Accepted: 27 November 2018 / Published: 30 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geological Seafloor Mapping)
This study presents a novel approach, based on high-dimensionality hydro-acoustic data, for improving the performance of angular response analysis (ARA) on multibeam backscatter data in terms of acoustic class separation and spatial resolution. This approach is based on the hyper-angular cube (HAC) data structure which offers the possibility to extract one angular response from each cell of the cube. The HAC consists of a finite number of backscatter layers, each representing backscatter values corresponding to single-incidence angle ensonifications. The construction of the HAC layers can be achieved either by interpolating dense soundings from highly overlapping multibeam echo-sounder (MBES) surveys (interpolated HAC, iHAC) or by producing several backscatter mosaics, each being normalized at a different incidence angle (synthetic HAC, sHAC). The latter approach can be applied to multibeam data with standard overlap, thus minimizing the cost for data acquisition. The sHAC is as efficient as the iHAC produced by actual soundings, providing distinct angular responses for each seafloor type. The HAC data structure increases acoustic class separability between different acoustic features. Moreover, the results of angular response analysis are applied on a fine spatial scale (cell dimensions) offering more detailed acoustic maps of the seafloor. Considering that angular information is expressed through high-dimensional backscatter layers, we further applied three machine learning algorithms (random forest, support vector machine, and artificial neural network) and one pattern recognition method (sum of absolute differences) for supervised classification of the HAC, using a limited amount of ground truth data (one sample per seafloor type). Results from supervised classification were compared with results from an unsupervised method for inter-comparison of the supervised algorithms. It was found that all algorithms (regarding both the iHAC and the sHAC) produced very similar results with good agreement (>0.5 kappa) with the unsupervised classification. Only the artificial neural network required the total amount of ground truth data for producing comparable results with the remaining algorithms. View Full-Text
Keywords: angular response analysis; acoustic backscatter; supervised classification; ARA; sediment characterization; multi-dimensional; machine learning; seafloor mapping angular response analysis; acoustic backscatter; supervised classification; ARA; sediment characterization; multi-dimensional; machine learning; seafloor mapping
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Alevizos, E.; Greinert, J. The Hyper-Angular Cube Concept for Improving the Spatial and Acoustic Resolution of MBES Backscatter Angular Response Analysis. Geosciences 2018, 8, 446.

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