Terrestrial lidar data classification based on raw waveform samples versus online waveform attributes




Pashaei, Mohammad
Starek, Michael J.
Glennie, Craig L.
Berryhill, Jacob

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In this study, the potential of raw samples of digitized echo waveforms collected by full-waveform (FW) terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) for point cloud classification is investigated. Two different TLS systems are employed, both equipped with a waveform digitizer for access to the raw waveform and online waveform processing which assigns calibrated waveform attributes to each point measurement. Point cloud classification based on samples of the raw single-peak echo waveform is compared with point cloud classification based on the calibrated online waveform attributes. A deep convolutional neural network (DCNN) is designed for the supervised classification. Random forest classifier is used as a benchmark to evaluate the performance of the proposed DCNN model. In addition, feature importance and temporal stability of the raw waveform samples versus the calibrated waveform attributes for point cloud classification are reported. Classification results are evaluated at two study sites, a built environment on a university campus and a coastal wetland environment. Results show that direct classification of the raw waveform samples outperforms classification based on the set of waveform attributes at both study sites. Results also show that the contribution of the range, as the only geometric attribute in the raw waveform feature vector, significantly increases the classification performance. Finally, the performance of the DCNN for filtering ground points to generate a digital terrain model (DTM) based on classification of the raw waveform samples is assessed and compared to a DTM generated from a progressive morphological filter and to real-time kinematic (RTK) GNSS survey data.



deep learning, fall-waveform analysis (FWA), light detection and ranging (lidar), machine learning, point cloud classification, remote sensing (RS)



Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (CC-BY)


M. Pashaei, M. J. Starek, C. L. Glennie and J. Berryhill, "Terrestrial Lidar Data Classification Based on Raw Waveform Samples Versus Online Waveform Attributes," in IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, vol. 60, pp. 1-19, 2022, Art no. 5702319, doi: 10.1109/TGRS.2021.3132356.