Ship classification in synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery has become a new hotspot in remote sensing community for its valuable potential in many maritime applications. Several kinds of ship features, such as geometric features, polarimetric features, and scattering features have been widely applied on ship classification tasks. Compared with polarimetric features and scattering features, which are subject to SAR parameters (e.g., sensor type, incidence angle, polarization, etc.) and environment factors (e.g., sea state, wind, wave, current, etc.), geometric features are relatively independent of SAR and environment factors, and easy to be extracted stably from SAR imagery. In this paper, the capability of geometric features to classify ships in SAR imagery with various resolution has been investigated. Firstly, the relationship between the geometric feature extraction accuracy and the SAR imagery resolution is analyzed. It shows that the minimum bounding rectangle (MBR) of ship can be extracted exactly in terms of absolute precision by the proposed automatic ship-sea segmentation method. Next, six simple but effective geometric features are extracted to build a ship representation for the subsequent classification task. These six geometric features are composed of length (f1), width (f2), area (f3), perimeter (f4), elongatedness (f5) and compactness (f6). Among them, two basic features, length (f1) and width (f2), are directly extracted based on the MBR of ship, the other four are derived from those two basic features. The capability of the utilized geometric features to classify ships are validated on two data set with different image resolutions. The results show that the performance of ship classification solely by geometric features is close to that obtained by the state-of-the-art methods, which obtained by a combination of multiple kinds of features, including scattering features and geometric features after a complex feature selection process.
Haitao Lang, Siwen Wu, Quan Lai, and Li Ma, "Capability of geometric features to classify ships in SAR imagery," Proc. SPIE 10004, Image and Signal Processing for Remote Sensing XXII, 1000415 (Presented at SPIE Remote Sensing: September 28, 2016; Published: 18 October 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2241375.
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