Title: Improving drought risk modelling: using multiple periods of satellite data with ensembles of data mining algorithms

Authors: Sherri Harms; Tsegaye Tadesse; Brian D. Wardlow

Addresses: Department of Computer Science and Information Systems, University of Nebraska at Kearney, 116 Otto Olsen, 2508 12th Ave., Kearney, Nebraska 68849, USA ' National Drought Mitigation Center, School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 816 Hardin Hall, 3310 Holdrege Street, P.O. Box 830988, Lincoln, NE 68583-0988, USA ' Center for Advanced Land Management Information Technologies (CALMIT), School of Natural Resources, National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC), University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 316 Hardin Hall, 3310 Holdrege Street, Lincoln, NE 68583-0749, USA

Abstract: This paper describes improvements to the Vegetation Outlook (VegOut) model developed by the National Drought Mitigation Center for the USA. VegOut provides early drought warning by predicting general vegetation conditions at multiple time steps (e.g., 2-, 4- and 6-week outlooks). VegOut integrates climate, biophysical, oceanic, and satellite-based vegetation data with data mining algorithms to identify historical patterns and to predict future vegetation conditions based on these patterns and current conditions. This study investigated various algorithms and found that bagging ensembles of the linear regression algorithm outperformed other algorithms, including the currently used algorithm in VegOut. This study found that using several weeks of recent satellite vegetation data enhances prediction accuracy, especially for long-range outlooks. These discoveries illustrate that model development must carefully analyse both input data and algorithmic choice. The results of this study will be used to improve VegOut's prediction accuracy.

Keywords: drought risk modelling; data mining; vegetation outlook; VegOut; data mining ensemble algorithms; satellite vegetation data; vegetation condition prediction; National Drought Mitigation Center; USA; United States; water shortages.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSSS.2014.062438

International Journal of Society Systems Science, 2014 Vol.6 No.2, pp.143 - 158

Available online: 06 Jun 2014 *

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