Comparing the effect of preprocessing transformations on methods of land-use classification derived from spectral soil measurements Academic Article uri icon


  • Advanced classifiers, e.g., partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) and random forests (RF), have been recently used to model reflectance spectral data in general, and of soil properties in particular, since their spectra are multivariate and highly collinear. Preprocessing transformations (PPTs) can improve the classification accuracy by increasing the variability between classes while decreasing the variability within classes. Such PPTs are common practice prior to a PLS-DA, but are rarely used for RF. The objectives of this paper are twofold: to compare the performances of PLS-DA and RF for modeling the spectral reflectance of soil in changed land-uses with different treatments and to compare the effects of nine different PPTs on the prediction accuracy of each of these classification methods. Differences in six physical, biological, and chemical soil properties of changed land-uses from the northern Negev Desert in Israel were evaluated. Significant differences were found between soil properties, which are used to classify land-uses and treatments. Depending on the dataset, different PPTs improved the classification accuracy by 11%-24% and 32%-42% for PLS-DA and RF, respectively, in comparison to the spectra without PPT. Out of the PPTs tested, the generalized least squares weighting (GLSW)-based transformations were found to be the most effective for most classifications using both PLS-DA and RF. Our results show that both PLS-DA and RF are suitable classifiers for spectral data, provided that an appropriate PPT is applied.

publication date

  • January 1, 2015