Assessing the influence of reference spectra on synthetic SAM classification results

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Spectral matching algorithms, such as the Spectral Angle Mapper (SAM), utilize the spectral similarity between individual image pixel spectra and a spectral reference library with known components. Here, we illustrate and quantify the effects that different sources of reference libraries have on SAM classification results. Synthetic images of three mineral endmembers were classified by using reference libraries derived from airborne hyperspectral imagery, ground spectra (Portable Infrared Mineral Analyser), and from a standard library (United States Geologic Survey). Results show that the source of the reference library strongly influences the classification results if all available wavelengths are used. This effect can be partially neutralized by using appropriate preprocessing methods. Two different types of spectral subsetting of the data, two types of continuum removal, and a combination thereof were tested. Best results were achieved by using a feature subset (i.e., limiting the input wavelengths to the diagnostic absorption features). This increased the average classification accuracy from 74% to 95% (ground spectral library) and from 68% to 94% (standard library).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4162-4172
JournalIEEE transactions on geoscience and remote sensing
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • ADLIB-ART-2710
  • ESA
  • 2023 OA procedure


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