Utilizing Principal Component Analysis in Unsupervised Classification Based on Remote Sensing Data

  • Lee, Byung-Gul (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Cheju National University) ;
  • Kang, In-Joan (Department of Civil Engineering, Pusan Natioanl University)
  • Published : 2003.11.01


Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to improve image classification by the unsupervised classification techniques, the K-means. To do this, I selected a Landsat TM scene of Jeju Island, Korea and proposed two methods for PCA: unstandardized PCA (UPCA) and standardized PCA (SPCA). The estimated accuracy of the image classification of Jeju area was computed by error matrix. The error matrix was derived from three unsupervised classification methods. Error matrices indicated that classifications done on the first three principal components for UPCA and SPCA of the scene were more accurate than those done on the seven bands of TM data and that also the results of UPCA and SPCA were better than those of the raw Landsat TM data. The classification of TM data by the K-means algorithm was particularly poor at distinguishing different land covers on the island. From the classification results, we also found that the principal component based classifications had characteristics independent of the unsupervised techniques (numerical algorithms) while the TM data based classifications were very dependent upon the techniques. This means that PCA data has uniform characteristics for image classification that are less affected by choice of classification scheme. In the results, we also found that UPCA results are better than SPCA since UPCA has wider range of digital number of an image.