SuperPCA: A Superpixelwise PCA Approach for Unsupervised Feature Extraction of Hyperspectral Imagery

26 Jun 2018  ·  Junjun Jiang, Jiayi Ma, Chen Chen, Zhongyuan Wang, Zhihua Cai, Lizhe Wang ·

As an unsupervised dimensionality reduction method, principal component analysis (PCA) has been widely considered as an efficient and effective preprocessing step for hyperspectral image (HSI) processing and analysis tasks. It takes each band as a whole and globally extracts the most representative bands. However, different homogeneous regions correspond to different objects, whose spectral features are diverse. It is obviously inappropriate to carry out dimensionality reduction through a unified projection for an entire HSI. In this paper, a simple but very effective superpixelwise PCA approach, called SuperPCA, is proposed to learn the intrinsic low-dimensional features of HSIs. In contrast to classical PCA models, SuperPCA has four main properties. (1) Unlike the traditional PCA method based on a whole image, SuperPCA takes into account the diversity in different homogeneous regions, that is, different regions should have different projections. (2) Most of the conventional feature extraction models cannot directly use the spatial information of HSIs, while SuperPCA is able to incorporate the spatial context information into the unsupervised dimensionality reduction by superpixel segmentation. (3) Since the regions obtained by superpixel segmentation have homogeneity, SuperPCA can extract potential low-dimensional features even under noise. (4) Although SuperPCA is an unsupervised method, it can achieve competitive performance when compared with supervised approaches. The resulting features are discriminative, compact, and noise resistant, leading to improved HSI classification performance. Experiments on three public datasets demonstrate that the SuperPCA model significantly outperforms the conventional PCA based dimensionality reduction baselines for HSI classification. The Matlab source code is available at

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