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Support Vector Machine Versus Random Forest for Remote Sensing Image Classification: A Meta-Analysis and Systematic Review

Sheykhmousa, M.; Mahdianpari, M.; Ghanbari, H.; Mohammadimanesh, F.; Ghamisi, P.; Homayouni, S.

Several machine-learning algorithms have been proposed for remote sensing image classification during the past two decades. Among these machine learning algorithms, Random Forest (RF) and Support Vector Machines (SVM) have drawn attention to image classification in several remote sensing applications. This article reviews RF and SVM concepts relevant to remote sensing image classification and applies a meta-analysis of 251 peer-reviewed journal papers. A database with more than 40 quantitative and qualitative fields was constructed from these reviewed papers. The meta-analysis mainly focuses on 1) the analysis regarding the general characteristics of the studies, such as geographical distribution, frequency of the papers considering time, journals, application domains, and remote sensing software packages used in the case studies, and 2) a comparative analysis regarding the performances of RF and SVM classification against various parameters, such as data type, RS applications, spatial resolution, and the number of extracted features in the feature engineering step. The challenges, recommendations, and potential directions for future research are also discussed in detail. Moreover, a summary of the results is provided to aid researchers to customize their efforts in order to achieve the most accurate results based on their thematic applications.

  • Open Access Logo IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing 13(2020), 6308-6325
    DOI: 10.1109/JSTARS.2020.3026724

Permalink: https://www.hzdr.de/publications/Publ-31960
Publ.-Id: 31960


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