Building Information Extraction and Refinement from VHR Satellite Imagery using Deep Learning Techniques

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Title: Building Information Extraction and Refinement from VHR Satellite Imagery using Deep Learning Techniques
Authors: Bittner, Ksenia
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Thesis advisor: Prof. Dr. Peter Reinartz
Thesis referee: Prof. Dr. Friedrich Fraundorfer
Abstract: Building information extraction and reconstruction from satellite images is an essential task for many applications related to 3D city modeling, planning, disaster management, navigation, and decision-making. Building information can be obtained and interpreted from several data, like terrestrial measurements, airplane surveys, and space-borne imagery. However, the latter acquisition method outperforms the others in terms of cost and worldwide coverage: Space-borne platforms can provide imagery of remote places, which are inaccessible to other missions, at any time. Because the manual interpretation of high-resolution satellite image is tedious and time consuming, its automatic analysis continues to be an intense field of research. At times however, it is difficult to understand complex scenes with dense placement of buildings, where parts of buildings may be occluded by vegetation or other surrounding constructions, making their extraction or reconstruction even more difficult. Incorporation of several data sources representing different modalities may facilitate the problem. The goal of this dissertation is to integrate multiple high-resolution remote sensing data sources for automatic satellite imagery interpretation with emphasis on building information extraction and refinement, which challenges are addressed in the following: Building footprint extraction from Very High-Resolution (VHR) satellite images is an important but highly challenging task, due to the large diversity of building appearances and relatively low spatial resolution of satellite data compared to airborne data. Many algorithms are built on spectral-based or appearance-based criteria from single or fused data sources, to perform the building footprint extraction. The input features for these algorithms are usually manually extracted, which limits their accuracy. Based on the advantages of recently developed Fully Convolutional Networks (FCNs), i.e., the automatic extraction of relevant features and dense classification of images, an end-to-end framework is proposed which effectively combines the spectral and height information from red, green, and blue (RGB), pan-chromatic (PAN), and normalized Digital Surface Model (nDSM) image data and automatically generates a full resolution binary building mask. The proposed architecture consists of three parallel networks merged at a late stage, which helps in propagating fine detailed information from earlier layers to higher levels, in order to produce an output with high-quality building outlines. The performance of the model is examined on new unseen data to demonstrate its generalization capacity. The availability of detailed Digital Surface Models (DSMs) generated by dense matching and representing the elevation surface of the Earth can improve the analysis and interpretation of complex urban scenarios. The generation of DSMs from VHR optical stereo satellite imagery leads to high-resolution DSMs which often suffer from mismatches, missing values, or blunders, resulting in coarse building shape representation. To overcome these problems, a methodology based on conditional Generative Adversarial Network (cGAN) is developed for generating a good-quality Level of Detail (LoD) 2 like DSM with enhanced 3D object shapes directly from the low-quality photogrammetric half-meter resolution satellite DSM input. Various deep learning applications benefit from multi-task learning with multiple regression and classification objectives by taking advantage of the similarities between individual tasks. Therefore, an observation of such influences for important remote sensing applications such as realistic elevation model generation and roof type classification from stereo half-meter resolution satellite DSMs, is demonstrated in this work. Recently published deep learning architectures for both tasks are investigated and a new end-to-end cGAN-based network is developed, which combines different models that provide the best results for their individual tasks. To benefit from information provided by multiple data sources, a different cGAN-based work-flow is proposed where the generative part consists of two encoders and a common decoder which blends the intensity and height information within one network for the DSM refinement task. The inputs to the introduced network are single-channel photogrammetric DSMs with continuous values and pan-chromatic half-meter resolution satellite images. Information fusion from different modalities helps in propagating fine details, completes inaccurate or missing 3D information about building forms, and improves the building boundaries, making them more rectilinear. Lastly, additional comparison between the proposed methodologies for DSM enhancements is made to discuss and verify the most beneficial work-flow and applicability of the resulting DSMs for different remote sensing approaches.
Subject Keywords: Digital Surface Models; Data Fusion; Building Shape Refinement; Building Footprint; Binary Classification; Deep Learning; Fully Convolutional Networks; Conditional Generative Adversarial Networks; Very High Resolution Stereo Satellite Imagery; Remote Sensing
Issue Date: 26-Mar-2020
License name: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Germany
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Type of publication: Dissertation oder Habilitation [doctoralThesis]
Appears in Collections:FB06 - E-Dissertationen

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