Morphological Convolutional Neural Networks for Hyperspectral Image Classification

Convolutional neural networks (CNNs) have become quite popular for solving many different tasks in remote sensing data processing. The convolution is a linear operation, which extracts features from the input data. However, nonlinear operations are able to better characterize the internal relationships and hidden patterns within complex remote sensing data, such as hyperspectral images (HSIs). Morphological operations are powerful nonlinear transformations for feature extraction that preserve the essential characteristics of the image, such as borders, shape, and structural information. In this article, a new end-to-end morphological deep learning framework (called MorphConvHyperNet ) is introduced. The proposed approach efficiently models nonlinear information during the training process of HSI classification. Specifically, our method includes spectral and spatial morphological blocks to extract relevant features from the HSI input data. These morphological blocks consist of two basic 2-D morphological operators (erosion and dilation) in the respective layers, followed by a weighted combination of the feature maps. Both layers can successfully encode the nonlinear information related to shape and size, playing an important role in classification performance. Our experimental results, obtained on five widely used HSIs, reveal that our newly proposed MorphConvHyperNet offers comparable (and even superior) performance when compared to traditional 2-D and 3-D CNNs for HSI classification.
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