Accurate river level predictions using a Wavenet-like model (Papers Track)

Shannon Doyle (UvA); Anastasia Borovykh (Imperial College London)

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Abstract

The effects of climate change on river levels are noticeable through a higher occurrence of floods with disastrous social and economic impacts. As such, river level forecasting is essential in flood mitigation, infrastructure management and secure shipping. Historical records of river levels and influencing factors such as rainfall or soil conditions are used for predicting future river levels. The current state-of-the-art time-series prediction model is the LSTM network, a recurrent neural network. In this work we study the efficiency of convolutional models, and specifically the WaveNet model in forecasting one-day ahead river levels. We show that the additional benefit of the WaveNet model is the computational ease with which other input features can be included in the predictions of river stage and river flow. The conditional WaveNet models outperformed conditional LSTM models for river level prediction by capturing short-term, non-linear dependencies between input data. Furthermore, the Wavenet model offers a faster computation time, stable results and more possibilities for fine-tuning.

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