Prof. habil. dr. Rimantas Barauskas
Kauno Technologijos Universitetas, Informatikos fak.
Taikomosios informatikos katedra

Urban Change Detection from Aerial Images Using Convolutional Neural Networks and Transfer Learning
Tautvydas Fyleris, Andrius Krišciunas, Valentas Gružauskas, Dalia Calneryte and Rimantas Barauskas.

Urban change detection is an important part of sustainable urban planning, regional development, and socio-economic analysis, especially in regions with limited access to economic and demographic statistical data. The goal of this research is to create a strategy that enables the extraction of indicators from large-scale orthoimages of different resolution with practically acceptable accuracy after a short training process. Remote sensing data can be used to detect changes in number of buildings, forest areas, and other landscape objects. In this paper, aerial images of a digital raster orthophoto map at scale 1:10,000 of the Republic of Lithuania (ORT10LT) of three periods (2009–2010, 2012–2013, 2015–2017) were analyzed. Because of the developing technologies, the quality of the images differs significantly and should be taken into account while preparing the dataset for training the semantic segmentation model DeepLabv3 with a ResNet50 backbone. In the data preparation step, normalization techniques were used to ensure stability of image quality and contrast. Focal loss for the training metric was selected to deal with the misbalanced dataset. The suggested model training process is based on the transfer learning technique and combines using a model with weights pretrained in ImageNet with learning on coarse and fine-tuning datasets. The coarse dataset consists of images with classes generated automatically from Open Street Map (OSM) data and the fine-tuning dataset was created by manually reviewing the images to ensure that the objects in images match the labels. To highlight the benefits of transfer learning, six different models were trained by combining different steps of the suggested model training process. It is demonstrated that using pretrained weights results in improved performance of the model and the best performance was demonstrated by the model which includes all three steps of the training process (pretrained weights, training on coarse and fine-tuning datasets). Finally, the results obtained with the created machine learning model enable the implementation of different approaches to detect, analyze, and interpret urban changes for policymakers and investors on different levels on a local map, grid, or municipality level.
PublikacijaISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2022, 11, 246.
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