Independent component analysis (ICA) has shown success in many applications. This paper investigates a new
application of the ICA in endmember extraction and abundance quantification for hyperspectral imagery. An
endmember is generally referred to as an idealized pure signature for a class whose presence is considered to be rare.
When it occurs, it may not appear in large population. In this case, the commonly used principal components analysis
(PCA) may not be effective since endmembers usually contribute very little in statistics to data variance. In order to
substantiate our findings, an ICA-based approach, called ICA-based abundance quantification algorithm (ICA-AQA) is
developed. Three novelties result from our proposed ICA-AQA. First, unlike the commonly used least squares
abundance-constrained linear spectral mixture analysis (ACLSMA) which is a 2nd order statistics-based method, the
ICA-AQA is a high order statistics-based technique. Second, due to the use of statistical independence it is generally
thought that the ICA cannot be implemented as a constrained method. The ICA-AQA shows otherwise. Third, in order
for the ACLSMA to perform abundance quantification, it requires an algorithm to find image endmembers first then
followed by an abundance-constrained algorithm for quantification. As opposed to such a two-stage process, the ICAAQA
can accomplish endmember extraction and abundance quantification simultaneously in one-shot operation.
Experimental results demonstrate that the ICA-AQA performs at least comparably to abundance-constrained methods.