Improving cloud type classification of ground-based images using region covariance descriptors

Tang, Yuzhu; Yang, Pinglv; Zhou, Zeming; Pan, Delu; Chen, Jianyu; Zhao, Xiaofeng

The distribution and frequency of occurrence of different cloud types affect the energy balance of the Earth. Automatic cloud type classification of images continuously observed by the ground-based imagers could help climate researchers find the relationship between cloud type variations and climate change. However, by far it is still a huge challenge to design a powerful discriminative classifier for cloud categorization. To tackle this difficulty, in this paper, we present an improved method with region covariance descriptors (RCovDs) and the Riemannian bag-of-feature (BoF) method. RCovDs model the correlations among different dimensional features, which allows for a more discriminative representation. BoF is extended from Euclidean space to Riemannian manifold by inline-formulak-means clustering, in which Stein divergence is adopted as a similarity metric. The histogram feature is extracted by encoding RCovDs of the cloud image blocks with a BoF-based codebook. The multiclass support vector machine (SVM) is utilized for the recognition of cloud types. The experiments on the ground-based cloud image datasets show that a very high prediction accuracy (more than 98 % on two datasets) can be obtained with a small number of training samples, which validate the proposed method and exhibit the competitive performance against state-of-the-art methods.

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Tang, Yuzhu / Yang, Pinglv / Zhou, Zeming / et al: Improving cloud type classification of ground-based images using region covariance descriptors. 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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