21 May 2015 Evaluation techniques and metrics for assessment of pan+MSI fusion (pansharpening)
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Abstract
Fusion of broadband panchromatic data with narrow band multispectral data – pansharpening – is a common and often studied problem in remote sensing. Many methods exist to produce data fusion results with the best possible spatial and spectral characteristics, and a number have been commercially implemented. This study examines the output products of 4 commercial implementations with regard to their relative strengths and weaknesses for a set of defined image characteristics and analyst use-cases. Image characteristics used are spatial detail, spatial quality, spectral integrity, and composite color quality (hue and saturation), and analyst use-cases included a variety of object detection and identification tasks. The imagery comes courtesy of the RIT SHARE 2012 collect. Two approaches are used to evaluate the pansharpening methods, analyst evaluation or qualitative measure and image quality metrics or quantitative measures. Visual analyst evaluation results are compared with metric results to determine which metrics best measure the defined image characteristics and product use-cases and to support future rigorous characterization the metrics’ correlation with the analyst results. Because pansharpening represents a trade between adding spatial information from the panchromatic image, and retaining spectral information from the MSI channels, the metrics examined are grouped into spatial improvement metrics and spectral preservation metrics. A single metric to quantify the quality of a pansharpening method would necessarily be a combination of weighted spatial and spectral metrics based on the importance of various spatial and spectral characteristics for the primary task of interest. Appropriate metrics and weights for such a combined metric are proposed here, based on the conducted analyst evaluation. Additionally, during this work, a metric was developed specifically focused on assessment of spatial structure improvement relative to a reference image and independent of scene content. Using analysis of Fourier transform images, a measure of high-frequency content is computed in small sub-segments of the image. The average increase in high-frequency content across the image is used as the metric, where averaging across sub-segments combats the scene dependent nature of typical image sharpness techniques. This metric had an improved range of scores, better representing difference in the test set than other common spatial structure metrics.
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Ryan A. Mercovich, Ryan A. Mercovich, } "Evaluation techniques and metrics for assessment of pan+MSI fusion (pansharpening)", Proc. SPIE 9472, Algorithms and Technologies for Multispectral, Hyperspectral, and Ultraspectral Imagery XXI, 94721I (21 May 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2177093; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2177093
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