Capability and robustness of novel hybridized models used for drought hazard modeling in southeast Queensland, Australia

Rahmati, Omid and Panahi, Mahdi and Kalantari, Zahra and Soltani, Elinaz and Falah, Fatemeh and Dayal, Kavina S. and Mohammadi, Farnoush and Deo, Ravinesh C. ORCID: and Tiefenbacher, John and Bui, Dieu Tien (2020) Capability and robustness of novel hybridized models used for drought hazard modeling in southeast Queensland, Australia. Science of the Total Environment, 718:134656. pp. 1-17. ISSN 0048-9697


Widespread detrimental and long-lasting droughts are having catastrophic impacts around the globe. Researchers, organizations, and policy makers need to work together to obtain precise information, enabling timely and accurate decision making to mitigate drought impacts. In this study, a spatial modeling approach based on an adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS) and several metaheuristic optimizations (ANFIS-BA, ANFIS-GA, ANFIS-ICA, ANFIS-PSO) was developed to predict the spatial occurrence of drought in a region in southeastern Queensland, Australia. In this approach, data describing the distribution of eight drought-contributing factors were prepared for input into the models to serve as independent variables. Relative departures of rainfall (RDR) and relative departures of soil moisture (RDSM) were analyzed to identify locations where drought conditions have occurred. The set of locations in the study area identified as having experienced drought conditions was randomly divided into two groups, 70% were used for training and 30% for validation. The models employed these data to generate maps that predict the locations that would be expected to experience drought. The prediction accuracy of the model-produced drought maps was scrutinized with two evaluation metrics: area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) and root mean square error (RMSE). The results demonstrate that the hybridized models (ANFIS-BA (AUCmean = 83.7%, RMSEmean = 0.236), ANFIS-GA (AUCmean = 81.62%, RMSEmean = 0.247), ANFIS-ICA (AUCmean = 82.12%, RMSEmean = 0.247), and ANFIS-PSO (AUCmean = 81.42%, RMSEmean = 0.255)) yield better predictive performance than the standalone ANFIS model (AUCmean = 71.8%, RMSEmean = 0.344). Furthermore, sensitivity analyses indicated that plant-available water capacity, the percentage of soil comprised of sand, and mean annual precipitation were the most important predictors of drought hazard. The versatility of the new approach for spatial drought modeling and the capacity of ANFIS model hybridization to improve model performance suggests great potential to assist decision makers in their formulations of drought risk, recovery, and response management, and in the development of contingency plans.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Sciences (6 Sep 2019 - 31 Dec 2021)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment - Centre for Applied Climate Sciences (1 Aug 2018 -)
Date Deposited: 02 Jan 2020 23:21
Last Modified: 03 Jun 2021 04:31
Uncontrolled Keywords: drought hazard; spatial modeling; hybrid model; GIS; Australia
Fields of Research (2008): 08 Information and Computing Sciences > 0801 Artificial Intelligence and Image Processing > 080105 Expert Systems
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management
Fields of Research (2020): 46 INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES > 4605 Data management and data science > 460510 Recommender systems
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410404 Environmental management
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
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