Application of Support Vector Machines for Landuse Classification Using High-Resolution RapidEye Images: A Sensitivity Analysis

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Üstüner M., Sanli F. B., Dixon B.

EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF REMOTE SENSING, vol.48, pp.403-422, 2015 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 48
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.5721/eujrs20154823
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.403-422
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The classification accuracy of remotely sensed data and its sensitivity to classification algorithms have a critical importance for the geospatial community, as classified images provide the base layers for many applications and models. Support Vector Machines (SVMs), a non-parametric statistical learning method that has recently been used in numerous applications in image processing. The SVMs need user-defined parameters and each parameter has different impact on kernels hence the classification accuracy of SVMs is based upon the choice of the parameters and kernels. The objective of this study is to investigate the sensitivity of SVM architecture including internal parameters and kernel types on landuse classification accuracy of RapidEye imagery for the study area in Turkey. Four types of kernels (linear, polynomial, radial basis function, and sigmoid) were used for the SVM classification. A total of 63 different models were developed and implemented for sensitivity analysis of SVM architecture. The traditional Maximum Likelihood Classification (MLC) method was also performed for comparison. The classification accuracies of the best model for each kernel type and MLC are 85.63%, 83.94%, 83.94%, 83.82% and 81.64% for polynomial, linear, radial basis function, sigmoid kernels and MLC, respectively. The results suggest that the choice of model parameters and kernel types play an important role on SVMs classification accuracy. Best model of polynomial kernel outperformed all SVMs models and gave the highest classification accuracy of 85.63% with RapidEye imagery.