Multifeature Collaborative Fusion Network with Deep Supervision for SAR Ship Classification

Hao Zheng, Zhigang Hu, Liu Yang*, Aikun Xu, Meiguang Zheng, Ce Zhang, Keqin Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Multifeature synthetic aperture radar (SAR) ship classification aims to build models that can process, correlate, and fuse information from both handcrafted and deep features. Although handcrafted features provide rich expert knowledge, current fusion methods inadequately explore the relatively significant role of handcrafted features in conjunction with deep features, the imbalances in feature contributions, and the cooperative ways in which features learn. In this article, we propose a novel multifeature collaborative fusion network with deep supervision (MFCFNet) to effectively fuse handcrafted features and deep features for SAR ship classification tasks. Specifically, our framework mainly includes two types of feature extraction branches, a knowledge supervision and collaboration module (KSCM) and a feature fusion and contribution assignment module (FFCA). The former module improves the quality of the feature maps learned by each branch through auxiliary feature supervision and introduces a synergy loss to facilitate the interaction of information between deep features and handcrafted features. The latter module utilizes an attention mechanism to adaptively balance the importance among various features and assign the corresponding feature contributions to the total loss function based on the generated feature weights. We conducted extensive experimental and ablation studies on two public datasets, OpenSARShip-1.0 and FUSAR-Ship, and the results show that MFCFNet is effective and outperforms single deep feature and multifeature models based on previous internal FC layer and terminal FC layer fusion. Furthermore, our proposed MFCFNet exhibits better performance than the current state-of-the-art methods.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5212614
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Date of publication 21 July 2023; date of current version 2 August 2023. This work was supported in part by the Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant 62172442 and in part by the Youth Science Foundation of Natural Science Foundation of Hunan Province under Grant 2020JJ5775.

Publisher Copyright:
© 1980-2012 IEEE.


  • Deep supervision
  • handcrafted features
  • multifeature fusion
  • SAR ship classification
  • synthetic aperture radar (SAR)


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