Improving forest growth estimates using a Bayesian network approach

Y.T. Mustafa, A. Stein, V.A. Tolpekin, P.E van Laake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


Estimating the contribution of forests to carbon sequestration is commonly done by applying forest growth models. Such models inherently use field observations, such as leaf area index (LAI), whereas relevant information is also available from remotely sensed images. The purpose of this study is to improve the LAI estimated from the Physiological Principles Predicting Growth (3-PG) model by combining its output with LAI derived from Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) satellite imagery. A Bayesian network (BN) approach is proposed to take care of the different structure of the inaccuracies in the two data sources. It addresses the bias in the 3-PG model and the noise of the ASTER images. Moreover, the EM algorithm is introduced into BN to estimate missing the LAI ASTER data, since they are not available for long time series due to the atmospheric conditions. This paper shows that the outputs obtained with the BN were more accurate than the 3-PG estimate, as the root mean square error reduces to 0.46, and the relative error to 5.86 percent. We conclude that the EM-algorithm within a BN can adequately handle missing LAI ASTER values, and BNs can improve the estimation of LAI values. Ultimately, this method may be used as a predicting model of LAI values, and handling the missing data of ASTER images time series.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-51
JournalPhotogrammetric engineering and remote sensing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012


Dive into the research topics of 'Improving forest growth estimates using a Bayesian network approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this