Semantic Clustering of a Sequence of Satellite Images

by   Carlos Echegoyen, et al.

Satellite images constitute a highly valuable and abundant resource for many real world applications. However, the labeled data needed to train most machine learning models are scarce and difficult to obtain. In this context, the current work investigates a fully unsupervised methodology that, given a temporal sequence of satellite images, creates a partition of the ground according to its semantic properties and their evolution over time. The sequences of images are translated into a grid of multivariate time series of embedded tiles. The embedding and the partitional clustering of these sequences of tiles are constructed in two iterative steps: In the first step, the embedding is able to extract the information of the sequences of tiles based on a geographical neighborhood, and the tiles are grouped into clusters. In the second step, the embedding is refined by using the neighborhood defined by the clusters, and the final clustering of the sequences of tiles is obtained. We illustrate the methodology by conducting the semantic clustering of a sequence of 20 satellite images of the region of Navarra (Spain). The results show that the clustering of multivariate time series is robust and contains trustful spatio-temporal semantic information about the region under study. We unveil the close connection that exists between the geographic and embedded spaces, and find out that the semantic properties attributed to these kinds of embeddings are fully exploited and even enhanced by the proposed clustering of time series.


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