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Journal of Sensors
Volume 2018, Article ID 7212307, 12 pages
Research Article

Deep Learning Approach for Building Detection Using LiDAR–Orthophoto Fusion

1Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
2Geospatial Information Science Research Center (GISRC), Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
3Centre for Advanced Modelling and Geospatial Information Systems (CAMGIS), Faculty of Engineering and IT, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Correspondence should be addressed to Helmi Z. M. Shafri; ym.ude.mpu@imleh

Received 21 November 2017; Accepted 26 June 2018; Published 5 August 2018

Academic Editor: Antonio Lazaro

Copyright © 2018 Faten Hamed Nahhas et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper reports on a building detection approach based on deep learning (DL) using the fusion of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data and orthophotos. The proposed method utilized object-based analysis to create objects, a feature-level fusion, an autoencoder-based dimensionality reduction to transform low-level features into compressed features, and a convolutional neural network (CNN) to transform compressed features into high-level features, which were used to classify objects into buildings and background. The proposed architecture was optimized for the grid search method, and its sensitivity to hyperparameters was analyzed and discussed. The proposed model was evaluated on two datasets selected from an urban area with different building types. Results show that the dimensionality reduction by the autoencoder approach from 21 features to 10 features can improve detection accuracy from 86.06% to 86.19% in the working area and from 77.92% to 78.26% in the testing area. The sensitivity analysis also shows that the selection of the hyperparameter values of the model significantly affects detection accuracy. The best hyperparameters of the model are 128 filters in the CNN model, the Adamax optimizer, 10 units in the fully connected layer of the CNN model, a batch size of 8, and a dropout of 0.2. These hyperparameters are critical to improving the generalization capacity of the model. Furthermore, comparison experiments with the support vector machine (SVM) show that the proposed model with or without dimensionality reduction outperforms the SVM models in the working area. However, the SVM model achieves better accuracy in the testing area than the proposed model without dimensionality reduction. This study generally shows that the use of an autoencoder in DL models can improve the accuracy of building recognition in fused LiDAR–orthophoto data.