ISSN 2070-7401 (Print), ISSN 2411-0280 (Online)
Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa


Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa, 2021, Vol. 18, No. 2, pp. 51-63

Automated classification of the vegetation cover of Mediterranean landscape using spectral-textural and topographic features of high spatial resolution satellite imagery

A. Khatib 1 , V.A. Malinnikov 1 
1 Moscow State University of Geodesy and Cartography, Moscow, Russia
Accepted: 25.02.2021
DOI: 10.21046/2070-7401-2021-18-2-51-63
The paper considers the results of assessing the reliability of the automated classification of Mediterranean vegetation by random forest and maximum likelihood algorithms using several spectral, texture and topographic features extracted from high spatial resolution multispectral satellite images Landsat (OLI) and digital elevation model (ASTER GDEM 2). The study shows that from a large number of various spectral-textural and topographic features, it is possible to select, with the random forest algorithm, a set of 20 most informative features the use of which increases the overall classification accuracy of vegetation cover by 3.7 % compared to the use of all 36 features. The overall accuracy of vegetation cover classification by random forest and maximum likelihood algorithms using a set of 20 most informative features is 87.3% and 86.4 %, respectively, and this difference in classification reliability is statistically significant at 10% and 5 % significance levels according to the McNemar statistical test based on the Chi-square distribution with Yates’ correction for continuity. At the same time, the estimate of the minimum classification accuracy of all the identified classes of vegetation cover shows that the use of the random forest algorithm gives more reliable results than the maximum likelihood algorithm. This demonstrates the effectiveness of using the random forest algorithm to classify the Mediterranean vegetation, taking into account spectral and topographic features, which is consistent with the results of studies carried out in other territories of the Mediterranean region.
Keywords: automated classification, multispectral space images, digital elevation model, vegetation cover, Mediterranean region, random forest, maximum likelihood, textural features, topographic features, feature importance, McNemar’s test, statistical significance
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