The evaluation of fuzzy membership of land cover classes in the suburban zone

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Publication details

Fisher, PF & Pathirana, S 1990, 'The evaluation of fuzzy membership of land cover classes in the suburban zone', Remote Sensing of Environment, vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 121-132.

Remote Sensing of Environment home page available at www.elsevier.com/locate/rse

Publisher's version of article available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0034-4257(90)90103-S

Peer Reviewed



The reflectance values of pixels, recorded by remote sensors, are often generated by more than one ground phenomenon. This, the so-called mixed pixel problem, has always been a property of scanner-type imaging, but its effect on the image classification process is arguably still a major problem to deriving accurate land cover maps, in spite of the increasing spatial resolution of sensors. This paper explores use of a fuzzy classifier to determine the constituent land cover components of pixels in a suburban environment. The classifier derives a measure of the fuzzy membership of a pixel belonging to each land cover class. For some land cover types including water, wetland, and woodland, a high correlation is shown between the fuzzy membership values for a pixel and the portion of the area of that pixel which belongs to a particular land cover type. The correlation for other land cover types is statistically significant but qualitatively poorer, and may indicate a lack of signature purity. The results show that the fuzzy classifier may enable the extraction of information about individual pixels and about subpixel phenomena not addressed by other classifiers.