Refinement of Individual Tree Detection Results Obtained from Airborne Laser Scanning Data for a Mixed Natural Forest

Nenad Brodić*, Željko Cvijetinović, Milutin Milenković, Jovan Kovačević, Nikola Stančić, Momir Mitrović, Dragan Mihajlović

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Numerous semi- and fully-automatic algorithms have been developed for individual tree detection from airborne laser-scanning data, but different rates of falsely detected treetops also accompany their results. In this paper, we proposed an approach that includes a machine learning-based refinement step to reduce the number of falsely detected treetops. The approach involves the local maxima filtering and segmentation of the canopy height model to extract different segment-level features used for the classification of treetop candidates. The study was conducted in a mixed temperate forest, predominantly deciduous, with a complex topography and an area size of 0.6 km × 4 km. The classification model’s training was performed by five machine learning approaches: Random Forest (RF), Extreme Gradient Boosting, Artificial Neural Network, the Support Vector Machine, and Logistic Regression. The final classification model with optimal hyperparameters was adopted based on the best-performing classifier (RF). The overall accuracy (OA) and kappa coefficient (κ) obtained from the ten-fold cross validation for the training data were 90.4% and 0.808, respectively. The prediction of the test data resulted in an OA = 89.0% and a κ = 0.757. This indicates that the proposed method could be an adequate solution for the reduction of falsely detected treetops before tree crown segmentation, especially in deciduous forests.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5345
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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