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Capability and robustness of novel hybridized models used for drought hazard modeling in southeast Queensland, Australia
- Rahmati, Omid, Panahi, Mahdi, Kalantari, Zahra, Soltani, Elinaz, Falah, Fatemeh, Dayal, Kavina S., Mohammadi, Farnoush, Deo, Ravinesh C., Tiefenbacher, John, Tien Bui, Dieu
- The Science of the total environment 2020 v.718 pp. 134656
- decision making, drought, fuzzy logic, graphs, issues and policy, model validation, plant available water, prediction, rain, sand, Queensland
- 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.