January 3, 2
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M. Volpi, « Kernel-based methods for change detection in remote sensing images », Serveur académique Lausannois, ID : 10670/1.f8afzn
Nowadays, the joint exploitation of images acquired daily by remote sensing instruments and of images available from archives allows a detailed monitoring of the transitions occurring at the surface of the Earth. These modifications of the land cover generate spectral discrepancies that can be detected via the analysis of remote sensing images. Independently from the origin of the images and of type of surface change, a correct processing of such data implies the adoption of flexible, robust and possibly nonlinear method, to correctly account for the complex statistical relationships characterizing the pixels of the images. This Thesis deals with the development and the application of advanced statistical methods for multi-temporal optical remote sensing image processing tasks. Three different families of machine learning models have been explored and fundamental solutions for change detection problems are provided. In the first part, change detection with user supervision has been considered. In a first application, a nonlinear classifier has been applied with the intent of precisely delineating flooded regions from a pair of images. In a second case study, the spatial context of each pixel has been injected into another nonlinear classifier to obtain a precise mapping of new urban structures. In both cases, the user provides the classifier with examples of what he believes has changed or not. In the second part, a completely automatic and unsupervised method for precise binary detection of changes has been proposed. The technique allows a very accurate mapping without any user intervention, resulting particularly useful when readiness and reaction times of the system are a crucial constraint. In the third, the problem of statistical distributions shifting between acquisitions is studied. Two approaches to transform the couple of bi-temporal images and reduce their differences unrelated to changes in land cover are studied. The methods align the distributions of the images, so that the pixel-wise comparison could be carried out with higher accuracy. Furthermore, the second method can deal with images from different sensors, no matter the dimensionality of the data nor the spectral information content. This opens the doors to possible solutions for a crucial problem in the field: detecting changes when the images have been acquired by two different sensors.