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4 October 2017 Integrating support vector machines and random forests to classify crops in time series of Worldview-2 images
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Crop maps are essential inputs for the agricultural planning done at various governmental and agribusinesses agencies. Remote sensing offers timely and costs efficient technologies to identify and map crop types over large areas. Among the plethora of classification methods, Support Vector Machine (SVM) and Random Forest (RF) are widely used because of their proven performance. In this work, we study the synergic use of both methods by introducing a random forest kernel (RFK) in an SVM classifier. A time series of multispectral WorldView-2 images acquired over Mali (West Africa) in 2014 was used to develop our case study. Ground truth containing five common crop classes (cotton, maize, millet, peanut, and sorghum) were collected at 45 farms and used to train and test the classifiers. An SVM with the standard Radial Basis Function (RBF) kernel, a RF, and an SVM-RFK were trained and tested over 10 random training and test subsets generated from the ground data. Results show that the newly proposed SVM-RFK classifier can compete with both RF and SVM-RBF. The overall accuracies based on the spectral bands only are of 83, 82 and 83% respectively. Adding vegetation indices to the analysis result in the classification accuracy of 82, 81 and 84% for SVM-RFK, RF, and SVM-RBF respectively. Overall, it can be observed that the newly tested RFK can compete with SVM-RBF and RF classifiers in terms of classification accuracy.
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A. Zafari, R. Zurita-Milla, and E. Izquierdo-Verdiguier "Integrating support vector machines and random forests to classify crops in time series of Worldview-2 images", Proc. SPIE 10427, Image and Signal Processing for Remote Sensing XXIII, 104270W (4 October 2017);

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