Road Network Reconstruction from Satellite Images with Machine Learning Supported by Topological Methods

by   Tamal K. Dey, et al.

Automatic Extraction of road network from satellite images is a goal that can benefit and even enable new technologies. Methods that combine machine learning (ML) and computer vision have been proposed in recent years which make the task semi-automatic by requiring the user to provide curated training samples. The process can be fully automatized if training samples can be produced algorithmically. Of course, this requires a robust algorithm that can reconstruct the road networks from satellite images reliably so that the output can be fed as training samples. In this work, we develop such a technique by infusing a persistence-guided discrete Morse based graph reconstruction algorithm into ML framework. We elucidate our contributions in two phases. First, in a semi-automatic framework, we combine a discrete-Morse based graph reconstruction algorithm with an existing CNN framework to segment input satellite images. We show that this leads to reconstructions with better connectivity and less noise. Next, in a fully automatic framework, we leverage the power of the discrete-Morse based graph reconstruction algorithm to train a CNN from a collection of images without labelled data and use the same algorithm to produce the final output from the segmented images created by the trained CNN. We apply the discrete-Morse based graph reconstruction algorithm iteratively to improve the accuracy of the CNN. We show promising experimental results of this new framework on datasets from SpaceNet Challenge.


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