An efficient stochastic approach for building footprint extraction from digital elevation models

Abstract : In the past two decades, building detection and reconstruction from remotely sensed data has been an active research topic in the photogrammetric and remote sensing communities. Recently, effective high level approaches have been developed, i.e., the ones involving the minimization of an energetic formulation. Yet, their efficiency has to be balanced by the amount of processing power required to obtain good results. In this paper, we introduce an original energetic model for building footprint extraction from high resolution digital elevation models (≤1 m) in urban areas. Our goal is to formulate the energy in an efficient way, easy to parametrize and fast to compute, in order to get an effective process still providing good results. Our work is based on stochastic geometry, and in particular on marked point processes of rectangles. We therefore try to obtain a reliable object configuration described by a collection of rectangular building footprints. To do so, an energy function made up of two terms is defined: the first term measures the adequacy of the objects with respect to the data and the second one has the ability to favour or penalize some footprint configurations based on prior knowledge (alignment, overlapping,. . .). To minimize the global energy, we use a Reversible Jump Monte Carlo Markov Chain (RJMCMC) sampler coupled with a simulated annealing algorithm, leading to an optimal configuration of objects. Various results from different areas and resolutions are presented and evaluated. Our work is also compared with an already existing methodology based on the same mathematical framework that uses a much more complex energy function. We show how we obtain similarly good results with a high computational efficiency (between 50 and 100 times faster) using a simplified energy that requires a single data-independent parameter, compared to more than 20 interrelated and hard-to-tune parameters.
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Olivier Tournaire, Mathieu Brédif, Didier Boldo, Mélanie Durupt. An efficient stochastic approach for building footprint extraction from digital elevation models. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Elsevier, 2010, 65 (4), pp.317 - 327. ⟨10.1016/j.isprsjprs.2010.02.002⟩. ⟨hal-01881391⟩



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