Convolution Neural Network Architecture Learning for Remote Sensing Scene Classification

Remote sensing image scene classification is a fundamental but challenging task in understanding remote sensing images. Recently, deep learning-based methods, especially convolutional neural network-based (CNN-based) methods have shown enormous potential to understand remote sensing images. CNN-based methods meet with success by utilizing features learned from data rather than features designed manually. The feature-learning procedure of CNN largely depends on the architecture of CNN. However, most of the architectures of CNN used for remote sensing scene classification are still designed by hand which demands a considerable amount of architecture engineering skills and domain knowledge, and it may not play CNN's maximum potential on a special dataset. In this paper, we proposed an automatically architecture learning procedure for remote sensing scene classification. We designed a parameters space in which every set of parameters represents a certain architecture of CNN (i.e., some parameters represent the type of operators used in the architecture such as convolution, pooling, no connection or identity, and the others represent the way how these operators connect). To discover the optimal set of parameters for a given dataset, we introduced a learning strategy which can allow efficient search in the architecture space by means of gradient descent. An architecture generator finally maps the set of parameters into the CNN used in our experiments.

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