Superpixel-based active contour model for unsupervised change detection from satellite images

Ming Hao, Wen Zhong Shi, Kazhong Deng, Qiyan Feng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


This study proposes a superpixel-based active contour model (SACM) for unsupervised change detection from satellite images. The accuracy of change detection produced by the traditional active contour model suffers from the trade-off parameter. The SACM is designed to address this limitation through the incorporation of the spatial and statistical information of superpixels. The proposed method mainly consists of three steps. First, the difference image is created with change vector analysis method from two temporal satellite images. Second, statistical region merging method is applied on the difference image to produce a superpixel map. Finally, SACM is designed based on the superpixel map to detect changes from the difference image. The SACM incorporates spatial and statistical information and retains the accurate shapes and outlines of superpixels. Experiments were conducted on two data sets, namely Landsat-7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus and SPOT 5, to validate the proposed method. Experimental results show that SACM reduces the effects of the trade-off parameter. The proposed method also increases the robustness of the traditional active contour model for input parameters and improves its effectiveness. In summary, SACM often outperforms some existing methods and provides an effective unsupervised change detection method.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4276-4295
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Remote Sensing
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 16 Sept 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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