Comparison of Single Channel Indices for U-Net Based Segmentation of Vegetation in Satellite Images

Ulku I., Barmpoutis P., Stathaki T., Akagunduz E.

12th International Conference on Machine Vision (ICMV), Amsterdam, Netherlands, 16 - 18 November 2019, vol.11433 identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Volume: 11433
  • Doi Number: 10.1117/12.2556374
  • City: Amsterdam
  • Country: Netherlands
  • Keywords: Hyper-spectral Imagery, Vegetation Segmentation, Deep Convolutional Neural Networks
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: No


Hyper-spectral satellite imagery, consisting of multiple visible or infrared bands, is extremely dense and weighty for deep operations. Regarding problems related to vegetation as, more specifically, tree segmentation, it is difficult to train deep architectures due to lack of large-scale satellite imagery. In this paper, we compare the success of different single channel indices, which are constructed from multiple bands, for the purpose of tree segmentation in a deep convolutional neural network ( CNN) architecture. The utilized indices are either hand-crafted such as excess green index (ExG) and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) or reconstructed from the visible bands using feature space transformation methods such as principle component analysis (PCA). For comparison, these features are fed to an identical CNN architecture, which is a standard U-Net-based symmetric encoder-decoder design with hierarchical skip connections and the segmentation success for each single index is recorded. Experimental results show that single bands, which are constructed from the vegetation indices and space transformations, can achieve similar segmentation performances as compared to that of the original multi-channel case.