Calibrating Bayesian UNet++ for Sub-seasonal Forecasting (Papers Track)

Büşra Asan (Istanbul Technical University); Abdullah Akgül (University of Southern Denmark); Alper Unal (Istanbul Technical University); Melih Kandemir (University of Southern Denmark); Gozde Unal (Istanbul Technical University)

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Uncertainty Quantification & Robustness Climate Science & Modeling


Seasonal forecasting is a crucial task when it comes to detecting the extreme heat and colds that occur due to climate change. Confidence in the predictions should be reliable since a small increase in the temperatures in a year has a big impact on the world. Calibration of the neural networks provides a way to ensure our confidence in the predictions. However, calibrating regression models is an under-researched topic, especially in forecasters. We calibrate a UNet++ based architecture, which was shown to outperform physics-based models in temperature anomalies. We show that with a slight trade-off between prediction error and calibration error, it is possible to get more reliable and sharper forecasts. We believe that calibration should be an important part of safety-critical machine learning applications such as weather forecasters.