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Estimating per-pixel thematic uncertainty in remote sensing classifications

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2009
<mark>Journal</mark>International Journal of Remote Sensing
Issue number1
Volume30
Number of pages21
Pages (from-to)209-229
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date2/12/08
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Standard methodologies for estimating the thematic accuracy of hard classifications, such as those using the confusion matrix, do not provide indications of where thematic errors occur. However, spatial variation in thematic error can be a key variable affecting output errors when operations such as change detection are applied. One method of assessing thematic error on a per‐pixel basis is to use the outputs of a classifier to estimate thematic uncertainty. Previous studies that have used this approach have generally used a single classifier and so comparisons of the relative accuracy of classifiers for predicting per‐pixel thematic uncertainty have not been made. This paper compared three classification methods for predicting thematic uncertainty: the maximum likelihood, the multi‐layer perceptron and the probabilistic neural network. The results of the study are discussed in terms of selecting the most suitable classifier for mapping land cover or predicting thematic uncertainty.

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