Chen, Y; Cao, RY; Chen, J; Zhu, XL; Zhou, J; Wang, GP; Shen, MG; Chen, XH; Yang, W (2020). A New Cross-Fusion Method to Automatically Determine the Optimal Input Image Pairs for NDVI Spatiotemporal Data Fusion. IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON GEOSCIENCE AND REMOTE SENSING, 58(7), 5179-5194.

Spatiotemporal data fusion is a methodology to generate images with both high spatial and temporal resolution. Most spatiotemporal data fusion methods generate the fused image at a prediction date based on pairs of input images from other dates. The performance of spatiotemporal data fusion is greatly affected by the selection of the input image pair. There are two criteria for selecting the input image pair: the "similarity" criterion, in which the image at the base date should be as similar as possible to that at the prediction date, and the "consistency" criterion, in which the coarse and fine images at the base date should be consistent in terms of their radiometric characteristics and imaging geometry. Unfortunately, the "consistency" criterion has not been quantitatively considered by previous selection strategies. We thus develop a novel method (called "cross-fusion") to address the issue of the determination of the base image pair. The new method first chooses several candidate input image pairs according to the "similarity" criterion and then takes the "consistency" criterion into account by employing all of the candidate input image pairs to implement spatiotemporal data fusion between them. We applied the new method to MODIS-Landsat Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data fusion. The results show that the cross-fusion method performs better than four other selection strategies, with lower average absolute difference (AAD) values and higher correlation coefficients in various vegetated regions including a deciduous forest in Northeast China, an evergreen forest in South China, cropland in North China Plain, and grassland in the Tibetan Plateau. We simulated scenarios for the inconsistency between MODIS and Landsat data and found that the simulated inconsistency is successfully quantified by the new method. In addition, the cross-fusion method is less affected by cloud omission errors. The fused NDVI time-series data generated by the new method tracked various vegetation growth trajectories better than previous selection strategies. We expect that the cross-fusion method can advance practical applications of spatiotemporal data fusion technology.