American Journal of Applied Sciences

Characterization of the Earth's Surface State by Unsupervised Classification: Case of Vegetated, Aquatic and Mineral Surfaces

Jean-Claude Okaingni, Sié Ouattara, Adles Kouassi and Alain Clément

DOI : 10.3844/ajassp.2018.358.369

American Journal of Applied Sciences

Volume 15, Issue 7

Pages 358-369


In this study, we propose an unsupervised classification scheme based on the Dempster-Shafer Theory (TDS) and the Dezert-Smarandache Theory (DSmT) to characterize vegetated, aquatic and mineral surfaces. From pre-processed ASTER satellite images (georeferencing, geometric correction and 15 m re-sampling), neo-channels were produced by determining the spectral indices NDVI, MNDWI and NDBaI, considered as sources of information for classification of a given pixel. NDVI is a contrast function to highlight vegetation. By account, the MNDWI makes it possible to characterize the water and the NDBaI makes it possible to recognize the mineral resources. Then, we modeled respectively the formalisms of the DST and the DSmT, these formalisms are modeling tools close to advanced probabilities based on the notions of belief and fusion functions to take into account certain imperfections (uncertainty, ignorance, etc.) encountered in the acquisition of images. In addition, the DST manages a formalism of disjunction between the sources during the DSmT simultaneously manages a disjunction and a conjunction between the sources. Next we realized the algorithms and related codes that we implemented in the MATLAB environment. Our contribution lies in taking into account the imperfections (inaccuracies and uncertainties) linked to source information through the use of mass functions based on a simple Gaussian distribution support model in order to model each focal element independently of the others and to evaluate the belonging of a pixel to a class with respect to the majority of elements representing said class. The resulting results show that the DST approach is relatively satisfactory for the unsupervised classification of mineral surfaces and aquatic surfaces while it is not satisfactory for vegetated surfaces according to all proposed models. As for the DSmT, it presents satisfactory results for all the models proposed. The model with the exclusion integrity constraint E∩V ∩ M = φ was selected as the best model because having, in addition to an average rate of well-graded pixels of 93.34%, a compliance rate (96, 37%) with the terrain higher than those of the other models implemented.


© 2018 Jean-Claude Okaingni, Sié Ouattara, Adles Kouassi and Alain Clément. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.