Change detection in hyperspectral images using recurrent 3D fully convolutional networks

Ahram Song, Jaewan Choi, Youkyung Han, Yongil Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

142 Scopus citations


Hyperspectral change detection (CD) can be effectively performed using deep-learning networks. Although these approaches require qualified training samples, it is difficult to obtain ground-truth data in the real world. Preserving spatial information during training is difficult due to structural limitations. To solve such problems, our study proposed a novel CD method for hyperspectral images (HSIs), including sample generation and a deep-learning network, called the recurrent three-dimensional (3D) fully convolutional network (Re3FCN), which merged the advantages of a 3D fully convolutional network (FCN) and a convolutional long short-term memory (ConvLSTM). Principal component analysis (PCA) and the spectral correlation angle (SCA) were used to generate training samples with high probabilities of being changed or unchanged. The strategy assisted in training fewer samples of representative feature expression. The Re3FCN was mainly comprised of spectral-spatial and temporal modules. Particularly, a spectral-spatial module with a 3D convolutional layer extracts the spectral-spatial features from the HSIs simultaneously, whilst a temporal module with ConvLSTM records and analyzes the multi-temporal HSI change information. The study first proposed a simple and effective method to generate samples for network training. This method can be applied effectively to cases with no training samples. Re3FCN can perform end-to-end detection for binary and multiple changes. Moreover, Re3FCN can receive multi-temporal HSIs directly as input without learning the characteristics of multiple changes. Finally, the network could extract joint spectral-spatial-temporal features and it preserved the spatial structure during the learning process through the fully convolutional structure. This study was the first to use a 3D FCN and a ConvLSTM for the remote-sensing CD. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed CD method, we performed binary and multi-class CD experiments. Results revealed that the Re3FCN outperformed the other conventional methods, such as change vector analysis, iteratively reweighted multivariate alteration detection, PCA-SCA, FCN, and the combination of 2D convolutional layers-fully connected LSTM.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1827
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2018


  • 3D convolution
  • Change detection
  • Convolutional LSTM
  • Fully convolutional network
  • Hyperspectral image


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