Statistical models have been successful in accurately estimating the biochemical contents of vegetation from the reflectance spectra. However, their performance deteriorates when there is a scarcity of sizable amount of ground truth data for modeling the complex non-linear relationship occurring between the spectrum and the biochemical quantity. We propose a novel Gaussian process based multitask learning method for improving the prediction of a biochemical through the transfer of knowledge from the learned models for predicting related biochemicals. This method is most advantageous when there are few ground truth data for the biochemical of interest, but plenty of ground truth data for related biochemicals. The proposed multitask Gaussian process hypothesizes that the inter-relationship between the biochemical quantities is better modeled by using a combination of two or more covariance functions and inter-task correlation matrices. In the experiments, our method outperformed the current methods on two real-world datasets.

Date of creation, presentation, or exhibit



© 2016 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Department, Program, or Center

Electrical Engineering (KGCOE)


RIT – Main Campus