11 Citations (Scopus)
56 Downloads (Pure)


Aerial scene classification is a challenging problem in understanding high-resolution remote sensing images. Most recent aerial scene classification approaches are based on Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs). These CNN models are trained on a large amount of labeled data and the de facto practice is to use RGB patches as input to the networks. However, the importance of color within the deep learning framework is yet to be investigated for aerial scene classification. In this work, we investigate the fusion of several deep color models, trained using color representations, for aerial scene classification. We show that combining several deep color models significantly improves the recognition performance compared to using the RGB network alone. This improvement in classification performance is, however, achieved at the cost of a high-dimensional final image representation. We propose to use an information theoretic compression approach to counter this issue, leading to a compact deep color feature set without any significant loss in accuracy. Comprehensive experiments are performed on five remote sensing scene classification benchmarks: UC-Merced with 21 scene classes, WHU-RS19 with 19 scene types, RSSCN7 with 7 categories, AID with 30 aerial scene classes, and NWPU-RESISC45 with 45 categories. Our results clearly demonstrate that the fusion of deep color features always improves the overall classification performance compared to the standard RGB deep features. On the large-scale NWPU-RESISC45 dataset, our deep color features provide a significant absolute gain of 4.3% over the standard RGB deep features.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1523-1544
Number of pages22
JournalNeural Processing Letters
Issue number2
Early online date27 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Color features
  • Deep learning
  • Feature compression
  • Remote sensing
  • Scene classification


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