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Improving Road Surface Area Extraction via Semantic Segmentation with Conditional Generative Learning for Deep Inpainting Operations

Cira, Calimanut-Ionut; Kada, Martin; Manso-Callejo, Miguel-Ángel; Alcarria, Ramón; Bordel Sanchez, Borja

The road surface area extraction task is generally carried out via semantic segmentation over remotely-sensed imagery. However, this supervised learning task is often costly as it requires remote sensing images labelled at the pixel level, and the results are not always satisfactory (presence of discontinuities, overlooked connection points, or isolated road segments). On the other hand, unsupervised learning does not require labelled data and can be employed for post-processing the geometries of geospatial objects extracted via semantic segmentation. In this work, we implement a conditional Generative Adversarial Network to reconstruct road geometries via deep inpainting procedures on a new dataset containing unlabelled road samples from challenging areas present in official cartographic support from Spain. The goal is to improve the initial road representations obtained with semantic segmentation models via generative learning. The performance of the model was evaluated on unseen data by conducting a metrical comparison where a maximum Intersection over Union (IoU) score improvement of 1.3% was observed when compared to the initial semantic segmentation result. Next, we evaluated the appropriateness of applying unsupervised generative learning using a qualitative perceptual validation to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the proposed method in very complex scenarios and gain a better intuition of the model’s behaviour when performing large-scale post-processing with generative learning and deep inpainting procedures and observed important improvements in the generated data.
Published in: ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, 10.3390/ijgi11010043, MDPI