Numerous machine-learning classifiers are available for benthic habitat map production, which can lead to different results. This study highlights the performance of the Random Forest (RF) classifier, which was significantly better than Classification Trees (CT), Naïve Bayes (NB), and a multi-model ensemble in terms of overall accuracy, Balanced Error Rate (BER), Kappa, and area under the curve (AUC) values. RF accuracy was often higher than 90% for each substratum class, even at the most detailed level of the substratum classification and AUC values also indicated excellent performance (0.8–1). Total agreement between classifiers was high at the broadest level of classification (75–80%) when differentiating between hard and soft substratum. However, this sharply declined as the number of substratum categories increased (19–45%) including a mix of rock, gravel, pebbles, and sand. The model ensemble, produced from the results of all three classifiers by majority voting, did not show any increase in predictive performance when compared to the single RF classifier. This study shows how a single classifier may be sufficient to produce benthic seabed maps and model ensembles of multiple classifiers.
Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science – Elsevier
Published: May 1, 2018
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