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Optical Engineering

Unsupervised change-detection methods for remote-sensing images
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Paper Abstract

An unsupervised change detection problem can be viewed as a classification problem with only two classes corresponding to the change and no-change areas, respectively. Thanks to its simplicity, image differencing is a widely used approach to change detection. It is based on the idea of generating a difference image that represents the modulus of the spectral change vector associated with each pixel in the study area. To separate the "change" and "no-change" classes in the difference image, a simple thresholding-based procedure can be applied. However, the selection of the best threshold value is not a trivial problem. We investigate and compare several simple thresholding methods. The combination of the expectation-maximization algorithm with a thresholding method is also performed for the purpose of achieving a better estimate of the optimal threshold value. As an experimental investigation, a study area damaged by a forest fire is considered. Two Landsat TM images of the area acquired before and after the event are utilized to detect the burnt zones and to assess and compare the mentioned unsupervised change-detection methods.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 December 2002
PDF: 10 pages
Opt. Eng. 41(12) doi: 10.1117/1.1518995
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 41, Issue 12
Show Author Affiliations
Farid Melgani, Univ. degli Studi di Trento (Italy)
Gabriele Moser, Univ. degli Studi di Genova (Italy)
Sebastiano Bruno Serpico, Univ. degli Studi di Genova (Italy)

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