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Proceedings Paper

Hyperspectral target detection using heavy-tailed distributions
Author(s): Chris J. Willis
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Paper Abstract

One promising approach to target detection in hyperspectral imagery exploits a statistical mixture model to represent scene content at a pixel level. The process then goes on to look for pixels which are rare, when judged against the model, and marks them as anomalies. It is assumed that military targets will themselves be rare and therefore likely to be detected amongst these anomalies. For the typical assumption of multivariate Gaussianity for the mixture components, the presence of the anomalous pixels within the training data will have a deleterious effect on the quality of the model. In particular, the derivation process itself is adversely affected by the attempt to accommodate the anomalies within the mixture components. This will bias the statistics of at least some of the components away from their true values and towards the anomalies. In many cases this will result in a reduction in the detection performance and an increased false alarm rate. This paper considers the use of heavy-tailed statistical distributions within the mixture model. Such distributions are better able to account for anomalies in the training data within the tails of their distributions, and the balance of the pixels within their central masses. This means that an improved model of the majority of the pixels in the scene may be produced, ultimately leading to a better anomaly detection result. The anomaly detection techniques are examined using both synthetic data and hyperspectral imagery with injected anomalous pixels. A range of results is presented for the baseline Gaussian mixture model and for models accommodating heavy-tailed distributions, for different parameterizations of the algorithms. These include scene understanding results, anomalous pixel maps at given significance levels and Receiver Operating Characteristic curves.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 September 2009
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 7482, Electro-Optical Remote Sensing, Photonic Technologies, and Applications III, 74820P (30 September 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.830062
Show Author Affiliations
Chris J. Willis, BAE Systems Advanced Technology Ctr. (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7482:
Electro-Optical Remote Sensing, Photonic Technologies, and Applications III
Gary J. Bishop; Keith L. Lewis; Gary W. Kamerman; John D. Gonglewski; Richard C. Hollins; Ove K. Steinvall; Thomas J. Merlet, Editor(s)

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