ISPRS Annals of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume V-2-2022
17 May 2022
 | 17 May 2022


H. Albanwan and R. Qin

Keywords: Stereo Matching, Deep learning, Transferability, generalization, GCNet, PSMNet, LEAStereo, Census, Semi-Global Matching (SGM)

Abstract. Deep learning (DL) methods are widely investigated for stereo image matching tasks due to their reported high accuracies. However, their transferability/generalization capabilities are limited by the instances seen in the training data. With satellite images covering large-scale areas with variances in locations, content, land covers, and spatial patterns, we expect their performances to be impacted. Increasing the number and diversity of training data is always an option, but with the ground-truth disparity being limited in remote sensing due to its high cost, it is almost impossible to obtain the ground-truth for all locations. Knowing that classical stereo matching methods such as Census-based semi-global-matching (SGM) are widely adopted to process different types of stereo data, we therefore, propose a finetuning method that takes advantage of disparity maps derived from SGM on target stereo data. Our proposed method adopts a simple scheme that uses the energy map derived from the SGM algorithm to select high confidence disparity measurements, at the same utilizing the images to limit these selected disparity measurements on texture-rich regions. Our approach aims to investigate the possibility of improving the transferability of current DL methods to unseen target data without having their ground truth as a requirement. To perform a comprehensive study, we select 20 study-sites around the world to cover a variety of complexities and densities. We choose well-established DL methods like geometric and context network (GCNet), pyramid stereo matching network (PSMNet), and LEAStereo for evaluation. Our results indicate an improvement in the transferability of the DL methods across different regions visually and numerically.