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Shao, Y; Lunetta, RS (2012). Comparison of support vector machine, neural network, and CART algorithms for the land-cover classification using limited training data points. ISPRS JOURNAL OF PHOTOGRAMMETRY AND REMOTE SENSING, 70, 78-87.

Support vector machine (SVM) was applied for land-cover characterization using MODIS time-series data. Classification performance was examined with respect to training sample size, sample variability, and landscape homogeneity (purity). The results were compared to two conventional nonparametric image classification algorithms: multilayer perceptron neural networks (NN) and classification and regression trees (CART). For 2001 MODIS time-series data, SVM generated overall accuracies ranging from 77% to 80% for training sample sizes from 20 to 800 pixels per class, compared to 67-76% and 62-73% for NN and CART, respectively. These results indicated that SVM's had superior generalization capability, particularly with respect to small training sample sizes. There was also less variability of SVM performance when classification trials were repeated using different training sets. Additionally, classification accuracies were directly related to sample homogeneity/heterogeneity. The overall accuracies for the SVM algorithm were 91% (Kappa = 0.77) and 64% (Kappa = 0.34) for homogeneous and heterogeneous pixels, respectively. The inclusion of heterogeneous pixels in the training sample did not increase overall accuracies. Also, the SVM performance was examined for the classification of multiple year MODIS time-series data at annual intervals. Finally, using only the SVM output values, a method was developed to directly classify pixel purity. Approximately 65% of pixels within the Albemarle-Pamlico Basin study area were labeled as "functionally homogeneous" with an overall classification accuracy of 91% (Kappa = 0.79). The results indicated a high potential for regional scale operational land-cover characterization applications. (C) 2012 International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Inc. (ISPRS) Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.



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