Bayramli I, Bondi E, Tambe M. In the Shadow of Disaster: Finding Shadows to Improve Damage Detection, in AI for Social Good Workshop. ; 2020.Abstract

    Rapid damage assessment after natural disasters is crucial for effective planning of relief efforts. Satellites with Very High Resolution (VHR) sensors can provide a detailed aerial image of the affected area, but current damage detection systems are fully- or semi-manual which can delay the delivery of emergency care. In this paper, we apply recent advancements in segmentation and change detection to detect damage given pre- and post-disaster VHR images of an affected area. Moreover, we demonstrate that segmentation models trained for this task rely on shadows by showing that (i) shadows influence false positive detections by the model, and (ii) removing shadows leads to poorer performance. Through this analysis, we aim to inspire future work to improve damage detection.

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