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Title: Introducing fuzzy set theory to evaluate risk of misclassification of land cover maps to land mapping applications: Testing on coastal watersheds
Authors: Teixeira, Zara 
Vital, Saulo Roberto de Oliveira
Vendel, Ana Lúcia
Mendonça, Juan Diego Lourenço de
Patrício, Joana 
Keywords: Accuracy assessment; Classification; Classical set theory; Error relevance; Fuzzy set theory; Uncertainty; Paraíba state; Brazil
Issue Date: 2020
Project: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/UID/ MAR/04292/2019/MARE 
Serial title, monograph or event: Ocean & Coastal Management
Abstract: In land cover maps, categories represent a continuum of variation and for this reason, fuzzy set theory, which accepts degrees of membership, has been suggested for land classification. Nevertheless, classical set theory, which only assumes single map categories, is still widely used. The purpose of this study is to develop a methodology to reduce the weakness of land cover maps in which classical theory has been applied. To do so, we propose adding an error relevance step after accuracy assessment, which evaluates how relevant are the classification errors to selected land applications. First, a membership matrix is built based on a linguistic scale associated to land cover rates obtained from literature. Then, two fuzzy measures are calculated and the frequency of categories, that do not pose a problem to the user in light of the land application, is determined. The methodology is demonstrated using two Brazilian tropical coastal regions and two land applications relevant for coastal watershed management. The study presents land cover maps of the Mamanguape and the Paraíba estuarine regions, their full accuracy assessment, and the relevance of the classification errors to the land applications. The accuracy assessment step has demonstrated that the land cover maps are reliable. The error relevance step has shown that the map weakness can be reduced. Both steps show that the land cover maps produced are suitable for further land mapping applications. The results on land cover composition point to the importance of future work focused on the environmental sustainability of the studied regions. The new procedure has proven useful to decrease the degree of distrust with which land cover maps are regarded. The framework provided is suitable for virtually any land mapping application.
ISSN: 0964-5691
DOI: 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2019.104903
Rights: embargoedAccess
Appears in Collections:I&D MARE - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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