Interactive segmentation in aerial images: a new benchmark and an open access web-based tool

25 Aug 2023  ·  Zhe Wang, Shoukun Sun, Xiang Que, Xiaogang Ma ·

Deep learning has gradually become powerful in segmenting and classifying aerial images. However, in remote sensing applications, the lack of training datasets and the difficulty of accuracy assessment have always been challenges for the deep learning based classification. In recent years, interactive semantic segmentation proposed in computer vision has achieved an ideal state of human-computer interaction segmentation. It can provide expert experience and utilize deep learning for efficient segmentation. However, few papers discussed its application in remote sensing imagery. This study aims to bridge the gap between interactive segmentation and remote sensing analysis by conducting a benchmark study on various interactive segmentation models. We assessed the performance of five state-of-the-art interactive segmentation methods (Reviving Iterative Training with Mask Guidance for Interactive Segmentation (RITM), FocalClick, SimpleClick, Iterative Click Loss (ICL), and Segment Anything (SAM)) on two high-resolution aerial imagery datasets. The Cascade-Forward Refinement approach, an innovative inference strategy for interactive segmentation, was also introduced to enhance the segmentation results. We evaluated these methods on various land cover types, object sizes, and band combinations in the datasets. SimpleClick model consistently outperformed the other methods in our experiments. Conversely, the SAM performed less effectively than other models. Building upon these findings, we developed an online tool called RSISeg for interactive segmentation of remote sensing data. RSISeg incorporates a well-performing interactive model that is finetuned with remote sensing data. Compared to existing interactive segmentation tools, RSISeg offers robust interactivity, modifiability, and adaptability to remote sensing data.

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