Shadows are present in a wide range of aerial images from forested scenes to urban environments. The presence of shadows degrades the performance of computer vision algorithms in a diverse set of applications such as image registration, object segmentation, object detection and recognition. Therefore, detection and mitigation of shadows is of paramount importance and can significantly improve the performance of computer vision algorithms in the aforementioned applications. There are several existing approaches to shadow detection in aerial images including chromaticity methods, texture-based methods, geometric, physics-based methods, and approaches using neural networks in machine learning.
In this thesis, we developed seven new approaches to shadow detection in aerial imagery. This includes two new chromaticity based methods (i.e., Shadow Detection using Blue Illumination (SDBI) and Edge-based Shadow Detection using Blue Illumination (Edge-SDBI) and five machine learning methods consisting of two neural networks (SDNN and DIV-NN), and three convolutional neural networks (VSKCNN, SDCNN-ver1 and SDCNN ver-2). These algorithms were applied to five different aerial imagery data sets. Results were assessed using both qualitative (visual shadow masks) and quantitative techniques. Conclusions touch upon the various trades between these approaches, including speed, training, accuracy, completeness, correctness and quality.
Electrical Engineering (MS)
Department, Program, or Center
Electrical Engineering (KGCOE)
Emmett J. Ientilucci
Pulakurthi, Prasanna Reddy, "Shadow Detection in Aerial Images using Machine Learning" (2019). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus