Cnn-based spectral super-resolution of panchromatic night-time light imagery: City-size-associated neighborhood effects

Nataliya Rybnikova, Evgeny M. Mirkes, Alexander N. Gorban

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Data on artificial night-time light (NTL), emitted from the areas, and captured by satellites, are available at a global scale in panchromatic format. In the meantime, data on spectral properties of NTL give more information for further analysis. Such data, however, are available locally or on a commercial basis only. In our recent work, we examined several machine learning techniques, such as linear regression, kernel regression, random forest, and elastic map models, to convert the panchromatic NTL images into colored ones. We compared red, green, and blue light levels for eight geographical areas all over the world with panchromatic light intensities and characteristics of built-up extent from spatially corresponding pixels and their nearest neighbors. In the meantime, information from more distant neighboring pixels might improve the predictive power of models. In the present study, we explore this neighborhood effect using convolutional neural networks (CNN). The main outcome of our analysis is that the neighborhood effect goes in line with the geographical extent of metropolitan areas under analysis: For smaller areas, optimal input image size is smaller than for bigger ones. At that, for relatively large cities, the optimal input image size tends to differ for different colors, being on average higher for red and lower for blue lights. Compared to other machine learning techniques, CNN models emerged comparable in terms of Pearson’s correlation but showed performed better in terms of WMSE, especially for testing datasets.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7662
Issue number22
StatePublished - 18 Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Blue (RGB) bands
  • Convolutional neural network (CNN)
  • Green
  • International space station (ISS)
  • Neighborhood effect
  • Night-time light (NTL)
  • Panchromatic
  • Red

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Information Systems
  • Instrumentation
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Biochemistry


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