Robust feature matching for remote sensing image registration via locally linear transforming.


Feature matching, which refers to establishing reliable correspondence between two sets of features (particularly point features), is a critical prerequisite in feature-based registration. In this paper, we propose a flexible and general algorithm, which is called locally linear transforming (LLT), for both rigid and nonrigid feature matching of remote sensing images. We start by creating a set of putative correspondences based on the feature similarity and then focus on removing outliers from the putative set and estimating the transformation as well. We formulate this as a maximum-likelihood estimation of a Bayesian model with hidden/latent variables indicating whether matches in the putative set are outliers or inliers. To ensure the well-posedness of the problem, we develop a local geometrical constraint that can preserve local structures among neighboring feature points, and it is also robust to a large number of outliers. The problem is solved by using the expectation–maximization algorithm (EM), and the closed-form solutions of both rigid and nonrigid transformations are derived in the maximization step. In the nonrigid case, we model the transformation between images in a reproducing kernel Hilbert space (RKHS), and a sparse approximation is applied to the transformation that reduces the method computation complexity to linearithmic. Extensive experiments on real remote sensing images demonstrate accurate results of LLT, which outperforms current state-of-the-art methods, particularly in the case of severe outliers (even up to 80%).

IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing (TGRS), vol.53, no.12, pp.6469-6481, 2016. (ESI Hot Paper & ESI Highly Cited Paper)