Adversarial approaches to remote sensing image analysis

PhD Candidate Mesay Belete Bejiga

17 April 2020
Versione stampabile

Time: 10:00

PhD Candidate 

  • Mesay Belete Bejiga

Abstract of Dissertation

The recent advance in generative modeling in particular the unsupervised learning of data distribution is attributed to the invention of models with new learning algorithms. Among the methods proposed,generative adversarial networks (GANs) have shown to be the most efficient approaches to estimate data distributions. The core idea of GANs is an adversarial training of two deep neural networks, called generator and discriminator, to learn an implicit approximation of the true data distribution. The distribution is approximated through the weights of the generator network, and interaction with the distribution is through the process of sampling. GANs have found to be useful in applications such as image-to-image translation, in-painting, and text-to-image synthesis. In this thesis, we propose to capitalize on the power of GANs for different remote sensing problems.

The first problem is a new research track to the remote sensing community that aims to generate remote sensing images from text descriptions. More specifically, we focus on exploiting ancient text descriptions of geographical areas, inherited from previous civilizations, and convert them the equivalent remote sensing images. The proposed method is composed of a text encoder and an image synthesis module. The text encoder is tasked with converting a text description into a vector. To this end, we explore two encoding schemes: a multilabel encoder and a doc2vec encoder. The multilabel encoder takes into account the presence or absence of objects in the encoding process whereas the doc2vec method encodes additional information available in the text. The encoded vectors are then used as conditional information to a GAN network and guide the synthesis process.We collected satellite images and ancient text descriptions for training in order to evaluate the efficacy of the proposed method. The qualitative and quantitative results obtained suggest that the doc2vec encoder-based model yields better images in terms of the semantic agreement with the input description. In addition, we present open research areas that we believe are important to further advance this new research area.

The second problem we want to address is the issue of semi-supervised domain adaptation. The goal of domain adaptation is to learn a generic classifier for multiple related problems, thereby reducing the cost of labeling. To that end, we propose two methods. The first method uses GANs in the context of image-to-image translation to adapt source domain images into target domain images and train a classifier using the adapted images. We evaluated the proposed method on two remote sensing datasets. Though we have not explored this avenue extensively due to computational challenges, the results obtained show that the proposed method is promising and worth exploring in the future. The second domain adaptation strategy borrows the adversarial property of GANs to learn a new representation space where the domain discrepancy is negligible, and the new features are discriminative enough. The method is composed of a feature extractor, class predictor, and domain classifier blocks. Contrary to the traditional methods that perform representation and classifier learning in separate stages, this method combines both into a single-stage thereby learning a new representation of the input data that is domain invariant and discriminative.After training, the classifier is used to predict both source and target domain labels. We apply this method for large-scale land cover classification and cross-sensor hyperspectral classification problems. Experimental results obtained show that the proposed method provides a performance gain of up to 40%, and thus indicates the efficacy of the method.

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