Forecasting Urban Water Demand via Machine Learning Methods Coupled with a Bootstrap Rank-Ordered Conditional Mutual Information Input Variable Selection Method

Thursday, 18 December 2014
John Quilty1, Jan F Adamowski1, Bahaa Khalil1 and Maheswaran Rathinasamy2, (1)McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada, (2)Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, New Delhi, India
This paper explores forecasting short-term urban water demand (UWD) (using only historical records) through a variety of machine learning techniques coupled with a novel input variable selection (IVS) procedure. The proposed IVS technique termed, bootstrap rank-ordered conditional mutual information for real-valued signals (brCMIr), is multivariate, nonlinear, nonparametric, and probabilistic. The brCMIr method was tested in a case study using water demand time series for two urban water supply system pressure zones in Ottawa, Canada to select the most important historical records for use with each machine learning technique in order to generate forecasts of average and peak UWD for the respective pressure zones at lead times of 1, 3, and 7 days ahead. All lead time forecasts are computed using Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) as the base model, and are compared with Least Squares Support Vector Regression (LSSVR), as well as a novel machine learning method for UWD forecasting: the Extreme Learning Machine (ELM). Results from one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Tukey Honesty Significance Difference (HSD) tests indicate that the LSSVR and ELM models are the best machine learning techniques to pair with brCMIr. However, ELM has significant computational advantages over LSSVR (and ANN) and provides a new and promising technique to explore in UWD forecasting.