Scene classification for aerial images based on CNN using sparse coding technique

Abdul Qayyum, Aamir Saeed Malik, Naufal M. Saad, Mahboob Iqbal, Mohd Faris Abdullah, Waqas Rasheed, Tuan AB Rashid Abdullah, Mohd Yaqoob Bin Jafaar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)


Aerial scene classification purposes to automatically label aerial images with specific semantic categories. However, cataloguing presents a fundamental problem for high-resolution remote-sensing imagery (HRRS). Recent developments include several approaches and numerous algorithms address the task. This article proposes a convolutional neural network (CNN) approach that utilizes sparse coding for scene classification applicable for HRRS unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and satellite imagery. The article has two major sections: the first describes the extraction of dense multiscale features (multiple scales) from the last convolutional layer of a pre-trained CNN models; the second describes the encoding of extracted features into global image features via sparse coding to achieve scene classification. The authors compared experimental outcomes with existing techniques such as Scale-Invariant Feature Transform and demonstrated that features from pre-trained CNNs generalized well with HRRS datasets and were more expressive than low- and mid-level features, exhibiting an overall 90.3% accuracy rate for scene classification compared to 85.4% achieved by SIFT with sparse coding. Thus, the proposed CNN-based sparse coding approach obtained a robust performance that holds promising potential for future applications in satellite and UAV imaging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2662-2685
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Remote Sensing
Issue number8-10
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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  • Cite this

    Qayyum, A., Malik, A. S., Saad, N. M., Iqbal, M., Faris Abdullah, M., Rasheed, W., Rashid Abdullah, T. AB., & Bin Jafaar, M. Y. (2017). Scene classification for aerial images based on CNN using sparse coding technique. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 38(8-10), 2662-2685.