Using semivariogram indices to analyse heterogeneity in spatial patterns in remotely sensed images

Autores UPV
Revista Computers & Geosciences


he benchmark problem proposed in this paper is to identify regions in aerial or satellite images with geometric patterns and describe the geometric properties of the constituent elements of the pattern and their spatial distribution. This is a relevant topic in image analysis processes where spatial regular patterns are studied. This paper first presents two approaches based on multi-directional semivariograms for reducing the processing time required to compute omnidirectional semivariograms. A set of parameters for describing the structure of a semivariogram, introduced by Balaguer et al. (2010), is extracted from an experimental semivariogram and analysed to quantify the heterogeneity of the distribution of elements (trees) with periodic patterns in images of orchards. An assessment is made using four image datasets. The first dataset is composed of synthetic images that simulate regularly spaced tree crops and real images, and is used to evaluate the influence that the orientation of elements (regularly spaced trees) in the objects (crop plots) has in the descriptive parameter values. This dataset is also used to compare different semivariogram computational approaches. The other three are also composed of synthetic images and are used to evaluate the semivariogram parameters under different spatial heterogeneity conditions, and are generated by varying patterns and tree characteristics, i.e., existence or absence of faults, regular/irregular distributions, and size of the elements. Finally, the proposed methodology is applied to real aerial orthoimages of orchard plots.