Waveform fitting and geometry analysis for full-waveform LiDAR feature extraction

Fuan Tsai, Jhe Syuan Lai, Yi Hsiu Cheng

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


This paper presents a systematic approach that integrates spline curve fitting and geometry analysis to extract full-waveform LiDAR features for land-cover classification. The cubic smoothing spline algorithm is used to fit the waveform curve of the received LiDAR signals. After that, the local peak locations of the waveform curve are detected using a second derivative method. According to the detected local peak locations, commonly used full-waveform features such as full width at half maximum (FWHM) and amplitude can then be obtained. In addition, the number of peaks, time difference between the first and last peaks, and the average amplitude are also considered as features of LiDAR waveforms with multiple returns. Based on the waveform geometry, dynamic time-warping (DTW) is applied to measure the waveform similarity. The sum of the absolute amplitude differences that remain after time-warping can be used as a similarity feature in a classification procedure. An airborne full-waveform LiDAR data set was used to test the performance of the developed feature extraction method for land-cover classification. Experimental results indicate that the developed spline curve- fitting algorithm and geometry analysis can extract helpful full-waveform LiDAR features to produce better land-cover classification than conventional LiDAR data and feature extraction methods. In particular, the multiple-return features and the dynamic time-warping index can improve the classification results significantly.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEarth Resources and Environmental Remote Sensing/GIS Applications VII
EditorsUlrich Michel, Karsten Schulz, Daniel Civco, Manfred Ehlers, Konstantinos G. Nikolakopoulos
ISBN (Electronic)9781510604148
StatePublished - 2016
EventEarth Resources and Environmental Remote Sensing/GIS Applications VII - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 27 Sep 201629 Sep 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceEarth Resources and Environmental Remote Sensing/GIS Applications VII
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Cubic spline
  • Full-waveform LiDAR
  • Gaussian fitting
  • LiDAR feature extraction
  • LiDAR land-cover
  • Wave-form fitting


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