Application of the extreme learning machine algorithm for the prediction of monthly Effective Drought Index in eastern Australia

Deo, Ravinesh C. and Sahin, Mehmet (2015) Application of the extreme learning machine algorithm for the prediction of monthly Effective Drought Index in eastern Australia. Atmospheric Research, 153. pp. 512-525. ISSN 0169-8095


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The prediction of future drought is an effective mitigation tool for assessing its adverse consequences on water resources, agriculture, ecosystems and hydrology. Data-driven model predictions using machine learning algorithms are promising tenets for these purposes as they require less developmental time, minimal inputs and are relatively less complex than the dynamic or physical model. This paper authenticates a computationally simple, fast and efficient non-linear algorithm known as extreme learning machine (ELM) for the prediction of Effective Drought Index (EDI) in eastern Australia using input data trained from 1957–2008 and the monthly EDI predicted over the period 2009–2011. The predictive variables for the ELM model were the rainfall and mean, minimum and maximum temperatures, supplemented by the large-scale climate mode indices of interest as regression covariates, namely the Southern Oscillation Index, Pacific Decadal Oscillation, Southern Annular Mode and the Indian Ocean Dipole moment. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed data-driven model a performance comparison in terms of the prediction capabilities and learning speeds was conducted between the proposed ELM algorithm and the conventional artificial neural network (ANN) algorithm trained with Levenberg-Marquardt backpropagation. The prediction metrics certified an excellent performance of the ELM over the ANN model for the overall test sites, thus yielding Mean Absolute Errors, Root-Mean Square Errors, Coefficients of Determination and Willmott’s Indices of Agreement of 0.277, 0.008, 0.892 and 0.93 (for ELM) and 0.602, 0.172, 0.578 and 0.92 (for ANN) models. Moreover, the ELM model was executed with learning speed 32 times faster and training speed 6.1 times faster than the ANN model. An improvement in the prediction capability of the drought duration and severity by the ELM model was achieved. Based on these results we aver that out of the two machine learning algorithms tested, the ELM was the more expeditious tool for prediction of drought and its related properties.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: This research is an outcome of USQ author's collaboration with his Turkey counterparts in application of artificial intelligence models to hydrology and climate modelling research. First available online 25 October 2014. Permanent restricted access to Published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Agricultural, Computational and Environmental Sciences
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2014 23:29
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2016 01:24
Uncontrolled Keywords: extreme learning machine; artificial neural network; drought prediction; effective drought index
Fields of Research : 04 Earth Sciences > 0401 Atmospheric Sciences > 040107 Meteorology
08 Information and Computing Sciences > 0801 Artificial Intelligence and Image Processing > 080199 Artificial Intelligence and Image Processing not elsewhere classified
04 Earth Sciences > 0401 Atmospheric Sciences > 040105 Climatology (excl.Climate Change Processes)
01 Mathematical Sciences > 0103 Numerical and Computational Mathematics > 010399 Numerical and Computational Mathematics not elsewhere classified
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050206 Environmental Monitoring
01 Mathematical Sciences > 0102 Applied Mathematics > 010299 Applied Mathematics not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960303 Climate Change Models
D Environment > 96 Environment > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960301 Climate Change Adaptation Measures
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970101 Expanding Knowledge in the Mathematical Sciences
D Environment > 96 Environment > 9602 Atmosphere and Weather > 960203 Weather
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosres.2014.10.016

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