Likelihood-based classification of single trees in hemi-boreal forests
Determining species of individual trees is important for forest management. In this thesis we investigate if it is possible to discriminate between Norway spruce, Scots pine and deciduous trees from airborne laser scanning data by using unique probability density functions estimated for each specie. We estimate the probability density functions in three different ways: by fitting a beta distribution, histogram density estimation and kernel density estimation. All these methods classifies single laser returns (and not segments of laser returns). The resulting classification is compared with a reference method based on features extracted from airborne laser scanning data.We measure how well a method performs by using the overall accuracy, that is the proportion of correctly predicted trees. The highest overall accuracy obtained by the methods we developed in this thesis is obtained by using histogram-density estimation where an overall accuracy of 83.4 percent is achieved. This result can be compared with the best result from the reference method that produced an overall accuracy of 84.1 percent. The fact that we achieve a high level of correctly classified trees indicates that it is possible to use these types of methods for identification of tree species.
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