Knowledge-driven geoai: Integrating spatial knowledge into multi-scale deep learning for mars crater detection

Chia Yu Hsu, Wenwen Li, Sizhe Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


This paper introduces a new GeoAI solution to support automated mapping of global craters on the Mars surface. Traditional crater detection algorithms suffer from the limitation of working only in a semiautomated or multi-stage manner, and most were developed to handle a specific dataset in a small subarea of Mars’ surface, hindering their transferability for global crater detection. As an alternative, we propose a GeoAI solution based on deep learning to tackle this problem effectively. Three innovative features are integrated into our object detection pipeline: (1) a feature pyramid network is leveraged to generate feature maps with rich semantics across multiple object scales, (2) prior geospatial knowledge based on the Hough transform is integrated to enable more accurate localization of potential craters, and (3) a scale-aware classifier is adopted to increase the prediction accuracy of both large and small crater instances. The results show that the proposed strategies bring a significant increase in crater detection performance than the popular Faster R-CNN model. The integration of geospatial domain knowledge into the data-driven analytics moves GeoAI research up to the next level to enable knowledge-driven GeoAI. This research can be applied to a wide variety of object detection and image analysis tasks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2116
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2021


  • Deep learning
  • GeoAI
  • Knowledge-driven
  • Mars
  • Object detection
  • Scale

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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