We have developed a method that uses genetic algorithms (GAs) to optimize rules for categorizing the terrain in Landsat data. A rule has two parts: a left side (the 'if' clause) and a right side (the 'then' clause). When the 'if' clause is true, the functions in the 'then' clause are executed to process the Landsat data. Examples of functions for processing the data include pixel by pixel threshold and a linear combination of six bands. Optimized rules are used to identify different terrain categories within Landsat data. Optimization is performed by comparing the results of the rules with ground truth using an objective function which minimizes the number of false positive and false negative pixel labels. Those rules that generate results close to the ground truth (those rules that return a small number of false positive and false negative pixel identifications) are highly rewarded and are used to create the next generation of rules. High altitude photographs were used as ground truth. The GA produced promising results for terrain categorization when compared with results from a maximum likelihood classifier. More work in the area of terrain categroization is planned to build on these promising results.
David E. Larch,
"Genetic algorithms for terrain categorization of Landsat images", Proc. SPIE 2231, Algorithms for Multispectral and Hyperspectral Imagery, (8 July 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.179769; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.179769