Godinho, S., Guiomar, N. & Gil, A. (2016) Using a stochastic gradient boosting algorithm to analyse the effectiveness of Landsat 8 data for montado land cover mapping: application in southern Portugal.International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 49, 151-162. DOI:10.1016/j.jag.2016.02.008 (IF2016 3,930; Q1 Remote Sensing)
This study aims to develop and propose a methodological approach for montado ecosystem mapping using Landsat 8 multi-spectral data, vegetation indices, and the Stochastic Gradient Boosting (SGB) algorithm. Two Landsat 8 scenes (images from spring and summer 2014) of the same area in southern Portugal were acquired. Six vegetation indices were calculated for each scene: the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI), the Short-Wave Infrared Ratio (SWIR32), the Carotenoid Reflectance Index 1 (CRI1), the Green Chlorophyll Index (CIgreen), the Normalised Multi-band Drought Index (NMDI), and the Soil-Adjusted Total Vegetation Index (SATVI). Based on this information, two datasets were prepared: (i) Dataset I only included multi-temporal Landsat 8 spectral bands (LS8), and (ii) Dataset II included the same information as Dataset I plus vegetation indices (LS8 + VIs). The integration of the vegetation indices into the classification scheme resulted in a significant improvement in the accuracy of Dataset II’s classifications when compared to Dataset I (McNemar test: Z-value = 4.50), leading to a difference of 4.90% in overall accuracy and 0.06 in the Kappa value. For the montado ecosystem, adding vegetation indices in the classification process showed a relevant increment in producer and user accuracies of 3.64% and 6.26%, respectively. By using the variable importance function from the SGB algorithm, it was found that the six most prominent variables (from a total of 24 tested variables) were the following: EVI_summer; CRI1_spring; SWIR32_spring; B6_summer; B5_summer; and CIgreen_summer.