ISPRS Annals of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume II-3/W4
11 Mar 2015
 | 11 Mar 2015


B. K. Kenduiywoa, D. Bargiel, and U. Soergel

Keywords: Conditional Random Fields (CRF), phenology, conditional probability, spatial-temporal

Abstract. The rapid increase in population in the world has propelled pressure on arable land. Consequently, the food basket has continuously declined while global demand for food has grown twofold. There is need to monitor and update agriculture land-cover to support food security measures. This study develops a spatial-temporal approach using conditional random fields (CRF) to classify co-registered images acquired in two epochs. We adopt random forest (RF) as CRF association potential and introduce a temporal potential for mutual crop phenology information exchange between spatially corresponding sites in two epochs. An important component of temporal potential is a transitional matrix that bears intra- and inter-class changes between considered epochs. Conventionally, one matrix has been used in the entire image thereby enforcing stationary transition probabilities in all sites. We introduce a site dependent transition matrix to incorporate phenology information from images. In our study, images are acquired within a vegetation season, thus perceived spectral changes are due to crop phenology. To exploit this phenomena, we develop a novel approach to determine site-wise transition matrix using conditional probabilities computed from two corresponding temporal sites. Conditional probability determines transitions between classes in different epochs and thus we used it to propagate crop phenology information. Classification results show that our approach improved crop discrimination in all epochs compared to state-of-the-art mono-temporal approaches (RF and CRF monotemporal) and existing multi-temporal markov random fields approach by Liu et al. (2008).