Classification and contextual enhancement of remotely sensed data

  • David J. Booth

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The aims of the project were twofold: 1) To investigate classification procedures for remotely sensed digital data, in order to develop modifications to existing algorithms and propose novel classification procedures; and 2) To investigate and develop algorithms for contextual enhancement of classified imagery in order to increase classification accuracy. The following classifiers were examined: box, decision tree, minimum distance, maximum likelihood. In addition to these the following algorithms were developed during the course of the research: deviant distance, look up table and an automated decision tree classifier using expert systems technology. Clustering techniques for unsupervised classification were also investigated. Contextual enhancements investigated were: mode filters, small area replacement and Wharton's CONAN algorithm. Additionally methods for noise and edge based declassification and contextual reclassification, non-probabilitic relaxation and relaxation based on Markov chain theory were developed. The advantages of per-field classifiers and Geographical Information Systems were investigated. The conclusions presented suggest suitable combinations of classifier and contextual enhancement, given user accuracy requirements and time constraints. These were then tested for validity using a different data set. A brief examination of the utility of the recommended contextual algorithms for reducing the effects of data noise was also carried out.
Date of AwardOct 1989
Original languageEnglish


  • Classification
  • contextual enhancement
  • digital image processing
  • remotely sensed data

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