Allocating classes for soft-then-hard subpixel mapping algorithms in units of Class

Qunming Wang, Wen Zhong Shi, Liguo Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)


There is a type of algorithm for subpixel mapping (SPM), namely, the soft-then-hard SPM (STHSPM) algorithm that first estimates soft attribute values for land cover classes at the subpixel scale level and then allocates classes (i.e., hard attribute values) for subpixels according to the soft attribute values. This paper presents a novel class allocation approach for STHSPM algorithms, which allocates classes in units of class (UOC). First, a visiting order for all classes is predetermined, and the number of subpixels belonging to each class is calculated using coarse fraction data. Then, according to the visiting order, the subpixels belonging to the being visited class are determined by comparing the soft attribute values of this class, and the remaining subpixels are used for the allocation of the next class. The process is terminated when each subpixel is allocated to a class. UOC was tested on three remote sensing images with five STHSPM algorithms: back-propagation neural network, Hopfield neural network, subpixel/pixel spatial attraction model, kriging, and indicator cokriging. UOC was also compared with three existing allocation methods, i.e., linear optimization technique (LOT), sequential assignment in units of subpixel (UOS), and a method that assigns subpixels with highest soft attribute values first (HAVF). Results show that for all STHSPM algorithms, UOC is able to produce higher SPM accuracy than UOS and HAVF; compared with LOT, UOC is able to achieve at least comparable accuracy but needs much less computing time. Hence, UOC provides an effective and real-time class allocation method for STHSPM algorithms.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6565362
Pages (from-to)2940-2959
Number of pages20
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Class allocation
  • image classification
  • subpixel mapping (SPM)
  • subpixel sharpening
  • superresolution mapping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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