Specific land cover class mapping by semi-supervised weighted support vector machines

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14 Citations (Scopus)
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In many remote sensing projects on land cover mapping, the interest is often in a sub-set of classes presented in the study area. Conventional multi-class classification may lead to a considerable training effort and to the underestimation of the classes of interest. On the other hand, one-class classifiers require much less training, but may overestimate the real extension of the class of interest. This paper illustrates the combined use of cost-sensitive and semi-supervised learning to overcome these difficulties. This method utilises a manually-collected set of pixels of the class of interest and a random sample of pixels, keeping the training effort low. Each data point is then weighted according to its distance to its near positive data point to inform the learning algorithm. The proposed approach was compared with a conventional multi-class classifier, a one-class classifier, and a semi-supervised classifier in the discrimination of high-mangrove in Saloum estuary, Senegal, from Landsat imagery. The derived classification accuracies were high: 93.90% for the multi-class supervised classifier, 90.75% for the semi-supervised classifier, 88.75% for the one-class classifier, and 93.75% for the proposed method. The results show that accuracy achieved with the proposed method is statistically non-inferior to that achieved with standard binary classification, requiring however much less training effort.

Original languageEnglish
Article number181
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Land cover
  • Landsat
  • Mangrove
  • One-class support vector machines
  • Random training set
  • Specific class mapping
  • Weighted support vector machine


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