Abstract—Most remote sensing images exhibit a clear hierarchical structure which can be taken into account by defining a suitable model for the unknown segmentation map. To this end, one can resort to the tree-structured Markov random field (MRF) model, which describes a -ary field by means of a sequence of binary MRFs, each one corresponding to a node in the tree. Here we propose to use the tree-structured MRF model for supervised segmentation. The prior knowledge on the number of classes and their statistical features allows us to generalize the model so that the binary MRFs associated with the nodes can be adapted freely, together with their local parameters, to better fit the data. In addition, it allows us to define a suitable likelihood term to be coupled with the TS–MRF prior so as to obtain a precise global model of the image. Given the complete model, a recursive supervised segmentation algorithm is easily defined. Experiments on a test SPOT image prove the superior performance of the proposed algorithm with respect to other comparable MRF-based or variational algorithms.
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