Polarimetric SAR Image Semantic Segmentation with 3D Discrete Wavelet Transform and Markov Random Field

Haixia Bi, Lin Xu*, Xiangyong Cao, Yong Xue, Zongben Xu

*Corresponding author for this work

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

41 Citations (Scopus)
43 Downloads (Pure)


Polarimetric synthetic aperture radar (PolSAR) image segmentation is currently of great importance in image processing for remote sensing applications. However, it is a challenging task due to two main reasons. Firstly, the label information is difficult to acquire due to high annotation costs. Secondly, the speckle effect embedded in the PolSAR imaging process remarkably degrades the segmentation performance. To address these two issues, we present a contextual PolSAR image semantic segmentation method in this paper. With a newly defined channel-wise consistent feature set as input, the three-dimensional discrete wavelet transform (3D-DWT) technique is employed to extract discriminative multi-scale features that are robust to speckle noise. Then Markov random field (MRF) is further applied to enforce label smoothness spatially during segmentation. By simultaneously utilizing 3D-DWT features and MRF priors for the first time, contextual information is fully integrated during the segmentation to ensure accurate and smooth segmentation. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method, we conduct extensive experiments on three real benchmark PolSAR image data sets. Experimental results indicate that the proposed method achieves promising segmentation accuracy and preferable spatial consistency using a minimal number of labeled pixels.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6601-6614
JournalIEEE Transactions on Image Processing
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

The acceptance date for this record is provisional and based upon the month of publication for the article.

Structured keywords

  • Digital Health


  • PolSAR image segmentation
  • three-dimensional discrete wavelet transform (3D-DWT)
  • support vector machine (SVM)
  • Markov random field (MRF)


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