UCDFormer: Unsupervised Change Detection Using a Transformer-driven Image Translation

2 Aug 2023  ·  Qingsong Xu, Yilei Shi, Jianhua Guo, Chaojun Ouyang, Xiao Xiang Zhu ·

Change detection (CD) by comparing two bi-temporal images is a crucial task in remote sensing. With the advantages of requiring no cumbersome labeled change information, unsupervised CD has attracted extensive attention in the community. However, existing unsupervised CD approaches rarely consider the seasonal and style differences incurred by the illumination and atmospheric conditions in multi-temporal images. To this end, we propose a change detection with domain shift setting for remote sensing images. Furthermore, we present a novel unsupervised CD method using a light-weight transformer, called UCDFormer. Specifically, a transformer-driven image translation composed of a light-weight transformer and a domain-specific affinity weight is first proposed to mitigate domain shift between two images with real-time efficiency. After image translation, we can generate the difference map between the translated before-event image and the original after-event image. Then, a novel reliable pixel extraction module is proposed to select significantly changed/unchanged pixel positions by fusing the pseudo change maps of fuzzy c-means clustering and adaptive threshold. Finally, a binary change map is obtained based on these selected pixel pairs and a binary classifier. Experimental results on different unsupervised CD tasks with seasonal and style changes demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed UCDFormer. For example, compared with several other related methods, UCDFormer improves performance on the Kappa coefficient by more than 12\%. In addition, UCDFormer achieves excellent performance for earthquake-induced landslide detection when considering large-scale applications. The code is available at \url{https://github.com/zhu-xlab/UCDFormer}

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