Assessment of machine learning techniques for monthly flow prediction

Zahra Alizadeh, Jafar Yazdi, Joong Hoon Kim, Abobakr Khalil Al-Shamiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Monthly flow predictions provide an essential basis for efficient decision-making regarding water resource allocation. In this paper, the performance of different popular data-driven models for monthly flow prediction is assessed to detect the appropriate model. The considered methods include feedforward neural networks (FFNNs), time delay neural networks (TDNNs), radial basis neural networks (RBFNNs), recurrent neural network (RNN), a grasshopper optimization algorithm (GOA)-based support vector machine (SVM) and K-nearest neighbors (KNN) model. For this purpose, the performance of each model is evaluated in terms of several residual metrics using a monthly flow time series for two real case studies with different flow regimes. The results show that the KNN outperforms the different neural network configurations for the first case study, whereas RBFNN model has better performance for the second case study in terms of the correlation coefficient. According to the accuracy of the results, in the first case study with more input features, the KNN model is recommended for short-term predictions and for the second case with a smaller number of input features, but more training observations, the RBFNN model is suitable.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1676
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Nov 17

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (MSIP) (No. 2016R1A2A1A05005306).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by the authors.


  • Gaussian process regression
  • Grasshopper optimization algorithm
  • K-nearest neighbor regression
  • Neural network
  • Support vector machine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology


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