Comparing Machine and Deep Learning Methods for the Phenology-Based Classification of Land Cover Types in the Amazon Biome Using Sentinel-1 Time Series
The state of Amapá within the Amazon biome has a high complexity of ecosystems formed by forests, savannas, seasonally flooded vegetation, mangroves, and different land uses. The present research aimed to map the vegetation from the phenological behavior of the Sentinel-1 time series, which has the advantage of not having atmospheric interference and cloud cover. Furthermore, the study compared three different sets of images (vertical–vertical co-polarization (VV) only, vertical–horizontal
... -polarization (VH) only, and both VV and VH) and different classifiers based on deep learning (long short-term memory (LSTM), Bidirectional LSTM (Bi-LSTM), Gated Recurrent Units (GRU), Bidirectional GRU (Bi-GRU)) and machine learning (Random Forest, Extreme Gradient Boosting (XGBoost), k-Nearest Neighbors, Support Vector Machines (SVMs), and Multilayer Perceptron). The time series englobed four years (2017–2020) with a 12-day revisit, totaling 122 images for each VV and VH polarization. The methodology presented the following steps: image pre-processing, temporal filtering using the Savitsky–Golay smoothing method, collection of samples considering 17 classes, classification using different methods and polarization datasets, and accuracy analysis. The combinations of the VV and VH pooled dataset with the Bidirectional Recurrent Neuron Networks methods led to the greatest F1 scores, Bi-GRU (93.53) and Bi-LSTM (93.29), followed by the other deep learning methods, GRU (93.30) and LSTM (93.15). Among machine learning, the two methods with the highest F1-score values were SVM (92.18) and XGBoost (91.98). Therefore, phenological variations based on long Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) time series allow the detailed representation of land cover/land use and water dynamics.