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Towards model evaluation and identification using Self-Organizing Maps

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Author(s): M. Herbst | M. C. Casper

Journal: Hydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussions
ISSN 1812-2108

Volume: 4;
Issue: 6;
Start page: 3953;
Date: 2007;
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ABSTRACT
The reduction of information contained in model time series through the use of aggregating statistical measures is very high compared to the amount of information that one would like to draw from it for model identification and calibration purposes. Applied within a model identification context, aggregating statistical performance measures are inadequate to capture details on time series characteristics. It has been readily shown that this loss of information on the residuals imposes important limitations on model identification and -diagnostics and thus constitutes an element of the overall model uncertainty. In this contribution we present an approach using a Self-Organizing Map (SOM) to circumvent the identifiability problem induced by the low discriminatory power of aggregating performance measures. Instead, a Self-Organizing Map is used to differentiate the spectrum of model realizations, obtained from Monte-Carlo simulations with a distributed conceptual watershed model, based on the recognition of different patterns in time series. Further, the SOM is used instead of a classical optimization algorithm to identify the model realizations among the Monte-Carlo simulations that most closely approximate the pattern of the measured discharge time series. The results are analyzed and compared with the manually calibrated model as well as with the results of the Shuffled Complex Evolution algorithm (SCE-UA).

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