Changes to Captions: An Attentive Network for Remote Sensing Change Captioning
Shizhen Chang & Pedram Ghamisi
In recent years, advanced research has focused on the direct learning and analysis of remote sensing images using natural language processing (NLP) techniques. The ability to accurately describe changes occurring in multi-temporal remote sensing images is becoming increasingly important for geospatial understanding and land planning. Unlike natural image change captioning tasks, remote sensing change captioning aims to capture the most significant changes, irrespective of various influential factors such as illumination, seasonal effects, and complex land covers. In this study, we highlight the significance of accurately describing changes in remote sensing images and present a comparison of the change captioning task for natural and synthetic images and remote sensing images. To address the challenge of generating accurate captions, we propose an attentive changes-to-captions network, called Chg2Cap for short, for bi-temporal remote sensing images. The network comprises three main components: 1) a Siamese CNN-based feature extractor to collect high-level representations for each image pair; 2) an attentive decoder that includes a hierarchical self-attention block to locate change-related features and a residual block to generate the image embedding; and 3) a transformer-based caption generator to decode the relationship between the image embedding and the word embedding into a description. The proposed Chg2Cap network is evaluated on two representative remote sensing datasets, and a comprehensive experimental analysis is provided. The code and pre-trained models will be available on GitHub.