skip to main content

Title: Flood Inundation Mapping with Limited Observations Based on Physics-Aware Topography Constraint
Spatial classification with limited observations is important in geographical applications where only a subset of sensors are deployed at certain spots or partial responses are collected in field surveys. For example, in observation-based flood inundation mapping, there is a need to map the full flood extent on geographic terrains based on earth imagery that partially covers a region. Existing research mostly focuses on addressing incomplete or missing data through data cleaning and imputation or modeling missing values as hidden variables in the EM algorithm. These methods, however, assume that missing feature observations are rare and thus are ineffective in problems whereby the vast majority of feature observations are missing. To address this issue, we recently proposed a new approach that incorporates physics-aware structural constraint into the model representation. We design efficient learning and inference algorithms. This paper extends our recent approach by allowing feature values of samples in each class to follow a multi-modal distribution. Evaluations on real-world flood mapping applications show that our approach significantly outperforms baseline methods in classification accuracy, and the multi-modal extension is more robust than our early single-modal version. Computational experiments show that the proposed solution is computationally efficient on large datasets.
Authors:
; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
2008973 1850546 2207072 2147908
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10283517
Journal Name:
Frontiers in Big Data
Volume:
4
ISSN:
2624-909X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Spatial classification with limited feature observations has been a challenging problem in machine learning. The problem exists in applications where only a subset of sensors are deployed at certain regions or partial responses are collected in field surveys. Existing research mostly focuses on addressing incomplete or missing data, e.g., data cleaning and imputation, classification models that allow for missing feature values, or modeling missing features as hidden variables and applying the EM algorithm. These methods, however, assume that incomplete feature observations only happen on a small subset of samples, and thus cannot solve problems where the vast majority of samples have missing feature observations. To address this issue, we propose a new approach that incorporates physics-aware structural constraints into the model representation. Our approach assumes that a spatial contextual feature is observed for all sample locations and establishes spatial structural constraint from the spatial contextual feature map. We design efficient algorithms for model parameter learning and class inference. Evaluations on real-world hydrological applications show that our approach significantly outperforms several baseline methods in classification accuracy, and the proposed solution is computationally efficient on a large data volume.
  2. Abstract. High-resolution remote sensing imagery has been increasingly used for flood applications. Different methods have been proposed for flood extent mapping from creating water index to image classification from high-resolution data. Among these methods, deep learning methods have shown promising results for flood extent extraction; however, these two-dimensional (2D) image classification methods cannot directly provide water level measurements. This paper presents an integrated approach to extract the flood extent in three-dimensional (3D) from UAV data by integrating 2D deep learning-based flood map and 3D cloud point extracted from a Structure from Motion (SFM) method. We fine-tuned a pretrained Visual Geometry Group 16 (VGG-16) based fully convolutional model to create a 2D inundation map. The 2D classified map was overlaid on the SfM-based 3D point cloud to create a 3D flood map. The floodwater depth was estimated by subtracting a pre-flood Digital Elevation Model (DEM) from the SfM-based DEM. The results show that the proposed method is efficient in creating a 3D flood extent map to support emergency response and recovery activates during a flood event.
  3. Flooding is one of the leading threats of natural disasters to human life and property, especially in densely populated urban areas. Rapid and precise extraction of the flooded areas is key to supporting emergency-response planning and providing damage assessment in both spatial and temporal measurements. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) technology has recently been recognized as an efficient photogrammetry data acquisition platform to quickly deliver high-resolution imagery because of its cost-effectiveness, ability to fly at lower altitudes, and ability to enter a hazardous area. Different image classification methods including SVM (Support Vector Machine) have been used for flood extent mapping. In recent years, there has been a significant improvement in remote sensing image classification using Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs). CNNs have demonstrated excellent performance on various tasks including image classification, feature extraction, and segmentation. CNNs can learn features automatically from large datasets through the organization of multi-layers of neurons and have the ability to implement nonlinear decision functions. This study investigates the potential of CNN approaches to extract flooded areas from UAV imagery. A VGG-based fully convolutional network (FCN-16s) was used in this research. The model was fine-tuned and a k-fold cross-validation was applied to estimate the performance of the modelmore »on the new UAV imagery dataset. This approach allowed FCN-16s to be trained on the datasets that contained only one hundred training samples, and resulted in a highly accurate classification. Confusion matrix was calculated to estimate the accuracy of the proposed method. The image segmentation results obtained from FCN-16s were compared from the results obtained from FCN-8s, FCN-32s and SVMs. Experimental results showed that the FCNs could extract flooded areas precisely from UAV images compared to the traditional classifiers such as SVMs. The classification accuracy achieved by FCN-16s, FCN-8s, FCN-32s, and SVM for the water class was 97.52%, 97.8%, 94.20% and 89%, respectively.« less
  4. Given earth imagery with spectral features on a terrain surface, this paper studies surface segmentation based on both explanatory features and surface topology. The problem is important in many spatial and spatiotemporal applications such as flood extent mapping in hydrology. The problem is uniquely challenging for several reasons: first, the size of earth imagery on a terrain surface is often much larger than the input of popular deep convolutional neural networks; second, there exists topological structure dependency between pixel classes on the surface, and such dependency can follow an unknown and non-linear distribution; third, there are often limited training labels. Existing methods for earth imagery segmentation often divide the imagery into patches and consider the elevation as an additional feature channel. These methods do not fully incorporate the spatial topological structural constraint within and across surface patches and thus often show poor results, especially when training labels are limited. Existing methods on semi-supervised and unsupervised learning for earth imagery often focus on learning representation without explicitly incorporating surface topology. In contrast, we propose a novel framework that explicitly models the topological skeleton of a terrain surface with a contour tree from computational topology, which is guided by the physical constraintmore »(e.g., water flow direction on terrains). Our framework consists of two neural networks: a convolutional neural network (CNN) to learn spatial contextual features on a 2D image grid, and a graph neural network (GNN) to learn the statistical distribution of physics-guided spatial topological dependency on the contour tree. The two models are co-trained via variational EM. Evaluations on the real-world flood mapping datasets show that the proposed models outperform baseline methods in classification accuracy, especially when training labels are limited.« less
  5. Unsupervised anomaly detection plays a crucial role in many critical applications. Driven by the success of deep learning, recent years have witnessed growing interests in applying deep neural networks (DNNs) to anomaly detection problems. A common approach is using autoencoders to learn a feature representation for the normal observations in the data. The reconstruction error of the autoencoder is then used as outlier scores to detect the anomalies. However, due to the high complexity brought upon by the over-parameterization of DNNs, the reconstruction error of the anomalies could also be small, which hampers the effectiveness of these methods. To alleviate this problem, we propose a robust framework using collaborative autoencoders to jointly identify normal observations from the data while learning its feature representation. We investigate the theoretical properties of the framework and empirically show its outstanding performance as compared to other DNN-based methods. Our experimental results also show the resiliency of the framework to missing values compared to other baseline methods.