Earth Science Informatics

, Volume 5, Issue 3–4, pp 137–152 | Cite as

Scaled total-least-squares-based registration for optical remote sensing imagery

  • Yong Ge
  • Tianjun Wu
  • Jianghao Wang
  • Jianghong Ma
  • Yunyan Du
Research Article


In optical image registration, the reference control points (RCPs) used as explanatory variables in the polynomial regression model are generally assumed to be error free. However, this most frequently used assumption is often invalid in practice because RCPs always contain errors. In this situation, the extensively applied estimator, the ordinary least squares (LS) estimator, is biased and incapable of handling the errors in RCPs. Therefore, it is necessary to develop new feasible methods to address such a problem. This paper discusses the scaled total least squares (STLS) estimator, which is a generalization of the LS estimator in optical remote sensing image registration. The basic principle and the computational method of the STLS estimator and the relationship among the LS, total least squares (TLS) and STLS estimators are presented. Simulation experiments and real remotely sensed image experiments are carried out to compare LS and STLS approaches and systematically analyze the effect of the number and accuracy of RCPs on the performances in registration. The results show that the STLS estimator is more effective in estimating the model parameters than the LS estimator. Using this estimator based on the error-in-variables model, more accurate registration results can be obtained. Furthermore, the STLS estimator has superior overall performance in the estimation and correction of measurement errors in RCPs, which is beneficial to the study of error propagation in remote sensing data. The larger the RCP number and error, the more obvious are these advantages of the presented estimator.


Image registration Polynomial regression model Error-in-variables model Ordinary least squares Scaled total least squares Singular value decomposition 



This research was supported in part by the Knowledge Innovation Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No. KZCX2-EW-QN303) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 40971222). The authors are grateful to two anonymous referees for their constructive comments, which helped to improve the quality of the paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yong Ge
    • 1
  • Tianjun Wu
    • 2
  • Jianghao Wang
    • 1
    • 3
  • Jianghong Ma
    • 2
  • Yunyan Du
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Information System, Institute of Geographic Sciences & Natural Resources ResearchChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Department of Mathematics and Information ScienceChang’an UniversityXi’anChina
  3. 3.Graduate University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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