Militino, AF; Moradi, M; Ugarte, MD (2020). On the Performances of Trend and Change-Point Detection Methods for Remote Sensing Data. REMOTE SENSING, 12(6), 1008.

Detecting change-points and trends are common tasks in the analysis of remote sensing data. Over the years, many different methods have been proposed for those purposes, including (modified) Mann-Kendall and Cox-Stuart tests for detecting trends; and Pettitt, Buishand range, Buishand U, standard normal homogeneity (Snh), Meanvar, structure change (Strucchange), breaks for additive season and trend (BFAST), and hierarchical divisive (E.divisive) for detecting change-points. In this paper, we describe a simulation study based on including different artificial, abrupt changes at different time-periods of image time series to assess the performances of such methods. The power of the test, type I error probability, and mean absolute error (MAE) were used as performance criteria, although MAE was only calculated for change-point detection methods. The study reveals that if the magnitude of change (or trend slope) is high, and/or the change does not occur in the first or last time-periods, the methods generally have a high power and a low MAE. However, in the presence of temporal autocorrelation, MAE raises, and the probability of introducing false positives increases noticeably. The modified versions of the Mann-Kendall method for autocorrelated data reduce/moderate its type I error probability, but this reduction comes with an important power diminution. In conclusion, taking a trade-off between the power of the test and type I error probability, we conclude that the original Mann-Kendall test is generally the preferable choice. Although Mann-Kendall is not able to identify the time-period of abrupt changes, it is more reliable than other methods when detecting the existence of such changes. Finally, we look for trend/change-points in land surface temperature (LST), day and night, via monthly MODIS images in Navarre, Spain, from January 2001 to December 2018.