The building is an indispensable part of human life which provides a place for people to live, study, work, and engage in various cultural and social activities. People are exposed to earthquakes, and damaged buildings caused by earthquakes are one of the main threats. It is essential to retrieve the detailed information of affected buildings after earthquakes. Very high-resolution satellite imagery plays a key role in retrieving building damage information since it captures imagery quickly and effectively after the disaster. In this paper, the pretrained Visual Geometry Group (VGG)Net model was applied for identifying collapsed buildings induced by the 2010 Haiti earthquake using pre- and post-event remotely sensed space imagery, and the fine-tuned pretrained VGGNet model was compared with the VGGNet model trained from scratch. The effects of dataset augmentation and freezing different intermediate layers were also explored. The experimental results demonstrated that the fine-tuned VGGNet model outperformed the VGGNet model trained from scratch with increasing overall accuracy (OA) from 83.38% to 85.19% and Kappa from 60.69% to 67.14%. By taking advantage of dataset augmentation, OA and Kappa went up to 88.83% and 75.33% respectively, and the collapsed buildings were better recognized with a larger producer accuracy of 86.31%. The present study showed the potential of using the pretrained Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) model to identify collapsed buildings caused by earthquakes using very high-resolution satellite imagery.
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