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Forecasting, Volume 2, Issue 3 (September 2020) – 9 articles

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Article
Time Series Analysis of Forest Dynamics at the Ecoregion Level
Forecasting 2020, 2(3), 364-386; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/forecast2030020 - 11 Sep 2020
Viewed by 1078
Abstract
Forecasting of forest dynamics at a large scale is essential for land use management, global climate change and biogeochemistry modeling. We develop time series models of the forest dynamics in the conterminous United States based on forest inventory data collected by the US [...] Read more.
Forecasting of forest dynamics at a large scale is essential for land use management, global climate change and biogeochemistry modeling. We develop time series models of the forest dynamics in the conterminous United States based on forest inventory data collected by the US Forest Service over several decades. We fulfilled autoregressive analysis of the basal forest area at the level of US ecological regions. In each USA ecological region, we modeled basal area dynamics on individual forest inventory pots and performed analysis of its yearly averages. The last task involved Bayesian techniques to treat irregular data. In the absolute majority of ecological regions, basal area yearly averages behave as geometric random walk with normal increments. In California Coastal Province, geometric random walk with normal increments adequately describes dynamics of both basal area yearly averages and basal area on individual forest plots. Regarding all the rest of the USA’s ecological regions, basal areas on individual forest patches behave as random walks with heavy tails. The Bayesian approach allowed us to evaluate forest growth rate within each USA ecological region. We have also implemented time series ARIMA models for annual averages basal area in every USA ecological region. The developed models account for stochastic effects of environmental disturbances and allow one to forecast forest dynamics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Forecasting)
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Review
An Overview of Population Projections—Methodological Concepts, International Data Availability, and Use Cases
Forecasting 2020, 2(3), 346-363; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/forecast2030019 - 02 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1552
Abstract
Population projections serve various actors at subnational, national, and international levels as a quantitative basis for political and economic decision-making. Usually, the users are no experts in statistics or forecasting and therefore lack the methodological and demographic background to completely understand methods and [...] Read more.
Population projections serve various actors at subnational, national, and international levels as a quantitative basis for political and economic decision-making. Usually, the users are no experts in statistics or forecasting and therefore lack the methodological and demographic background to completely understand methods and limitations behind the projections they use to inform further analysis. Our contribution primarily targets that readership. Therefore, we give a brief overview of different approaches to population projection and discuss their respective advantages and disadvantages, alongside practical problems in population data and forecasting. Fundamental differences between deterministic and stochastic approaches are discussed, with special emphasis on the advantages of stochastic approaches. Next to selected projection data available to the public, we show central areas of application of population projections, with an emphasis on Germany. Full article
Article
Forecasting of Future Flooding and Risk Assessment under CMIP6 Climate Projection in Neuse River, North Carolina
Forecasting 2020, 2(3), 323-345; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/forecast2030018 - 28 Aug 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1554
Abstract
Hydrological extremes associated with climate change are becoming an increasing concern all over the world. Frequent flooding, one of the extremes, needs to be analyzed while considering climate change to mitigate flood risk. This study forecast streamflow and evaluate risk of flooding in [...] Read more.
Hydrological extremes associated with climate change are becoming an increasing concern all over the world. Frequent flooding, one of the extremes, needs to be analyzed while considering climate change to mitigate flood risk. This study forecast streamflow and evaluate risk of flooding in the Neuse River, North Carolina considering future climatic scenarios, and comparing them with an existing Federal Emergency Management Agency study. The cumulative distribution function transformation method was adopted for bias correction to reduce the uncertainty present in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) streamflow data. To calculate 100-year and 500-year flood discharges, the Generalized Extreme Value (L-Moment) was utilized on bias-corrected multimodel ensemble data with different climate projections. Out of all projections, shared socio-economic pathways (SSP5-8.5) exhibited the maximum design streamflow, which was routed through a hydraulic model, the Hydrological Engineering Center’s River Analysis System (HEC-RAS), to generate flood inundation and risk maps. The result indicates an increase in flood inundation extent compared to the existing study, depicting a higher flood hazard and risk in the future. This study highlights the importance of forecasting future flood risk and utilizing the projected climate data to obtain essential information to determine effective strategic plans for future floodplain management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Hydrological Forecasting)
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Article
Bus Travel Time: Experimental Evidence and Forecasting
Forecasting 2020, 2(3), 309-322; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/forecast2030017 - 28 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1035
Abstract
Bus travel time analysis plays a key role in transit operation planning, and methods are needed for investigating its variability and for forecasting need. Nowadays, telematics is opening up new opportunities, given that large datasets can be gathered through automated monitoring, and this [...] Read more.
Bus travel time analysis plays a key role in transit operation planning, and methods are needed for investigating its variability and for forecasting need. Nowadays, telematics is opening up new opportunities, given that large datasets can be gathered through automated monitoring, and this topic can be studied in more depth with new experimental evidence. The paper proposes a time-series-based approach for travel time forecasting, and data from automated vehicle monitoring (AVM) of bus lines sharing the road lanes with other traffic in Rome (Italy) and Lviv (Ukraine) are used. The results show the goodness of such an approach for the analysis and reliable forecasts of bus travel times. The similarities and dissimilarities in terms of travel time patterns and city structure were also pointed out, showing the need to take them into account when developing forecasting methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Forecasting)
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Article
Forecasting Social Conflicts in Africa Using an Epidemic Type Aftershock Sequence Model
Forecasting 2020, 2(3), 284-308; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/forecast2030016 - 11 Aug 2020
Viewed by 915
Abstract
We propose to view social conflicts in Africa as having similarities with earthquake occurrences and hence to consider the spatial-temporal Epidemic Type Aftershock Sequence (ETAS) model. The parameters of this highly parameterized model are estimated through simulated annealing. We consider data for 2012 [...] Read more.
We propose to view social conflicts in Africa as having similarities with earthquake occurrences and hence to consider the spatial-temporal Epidemic Type Aftershock Sequence (ETAS) model. The parameters of this highly parameterized model are estimated through simulated annealing. We consider data for 2012 to 2016 to calibrate the model for four African regions separately, and we consider the data for 2017 to evaluate the forecasts. These forecasts concern the amount of future large events as well as their locations. Examples of our findings are that the model predicts a cluster of large events in the Central Africa region, which was not expected based on past events, and that in particular for East Africa it apparently holds that small conflicts can trigger a larger number of conflicts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forecasting in Economics and Management)
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Article
A Generalized Flow for B2B Sales Predictive Modeling: An Azure Machine-Learning Approach
Forecasting 2020, 2(3), 267-283; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/forecast2030015 - 06 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1552
Abstract
Predicting the outcome of sales opportunities is a core part of successful business management. Conventionally, undertaking this prediction has relied mostly on subjective human evaluations in the process of sales decision-making. In this paper, we addressed the problem of forecasting the outcome of [...] Read more.
Predicting the outcome of sales opportunities is a core part of successful business management. Conventionally, undertaking this prediction has relied mostly on subjective human evaluations in the process of sales decision-making. In this paper, we addressed the problem of forecasting the outcome of Business to Business (B2B) sales by proposing a thorough data-driven Machine-Learning (ML) workflow on a cloud-based computing platform: Microsoft Azure Machine-Learning Service (Azure ML). This workflow consists of two pipelines: (1) An ML pipeline to train probabilistic predictive models on the historical sales opportunities data. In this pipeline, data is enriched with an extensive feature enhancement step and then used to train an ensemble of ML classification models in parallel. (2) A prediction pipeline to use the trained ML model and infer the likelihood of winning new sales opportunities along with calculating optimal decision boundaries. The effectiveness of the proposed workflow was evaluated on a real sales dataset of a major global B2B consulting firm. Our results implied that decision-making based on the ML predictions is more accurate and brings a higher monetary value. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Forecasting)
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Article
Machine Learning-Based Error Modeling to Improve GPM IMERG Precipitation Product over the Brahmaputra River Basin
Forecasting 2020, 2(3), 248-266; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/forecast2030014 - 25 Jul 2020
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 2610
Abstract
The Integrated Multisatellite Retrievals for Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) (IMERG) Level 3 estimates rainfall from passive microwave sensors onboard satellites that are associated with several uncertainty sources such as sensor calibration, retrieval errors, and orographic effects. This study aims to provide a comprehensive [...] Read more.
The Integrated Multisatellite Retrievals for Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) (IMERG) Level 3 estimates rainfall from passive microwave sensors onboard satellites that are associated with several uncertainty sources such as sensor calibration, retrieval errors, and orographic effects. This study aims to provide a comprehensive investigation of multiple machine learning (ML) techniques (Random Forest, and Neural Networks), to stochastically generate an error-corrected improved IMERG precipitation product at a daily time scale and 0.1°-degree spatial resolution over the Brahmaputra river basin. In this study, we used the operational IMERG-Late Run version 06 product along with several meteorological and land surface parameters (elevation, soil type, land type, soil moisture, and daily maximum and minimum temperature) to produce an improved precipitation product in the Brahmaputra basin. We trained, tested, and optimized ML algorithms using 4 years (from 2015 through 2019) of reference rainfall data derived from the rain gauge. The ML generated precipitation product exhibited improved systematic and random error statistics for the study area, which is a strong indication for using the proposed algorithms in retrieving precipitation across the globe. We conclude that the proposed ML-based ensemble framework has the potential to quantify and correct the error sources for improving and promoting the use of satellite-based precipitation estimates for water resources applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Hydrological Forecasting)
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Article
Benchmarking Real-Time Streamflow Forecast Skill in the Himalayan Region
Forecasting 2020, 2(3), 230-247; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/forecast2030013 - 08 Jul 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2124
Abstract
Improving decision-making in various areas of water policy and management (e.g., flood and drought preparedness, reservoir operation and hydropower generation) requires skillful streamflow forecasts. Despite the recent advances in hydrometeorological prediction, real-time streamflow forecasting over the Himalayas remains a critical issue and challenge, [...] Read more.
Improving decision-making in various areas of water policy and management (e.g., flood and drought preparedness, reservoir operation and hydropower generation) requires skillful streamflow forecasts. Despite the recent advances in hydrometeorological prediction, real-time streamflow forecasting over the Himalayas remains a critical issue and challenge, especially with complex basin physiography, shifting weather patterns and sparse and biased in-situ hydrometeorological monitoring data. In this study, we demonstrate the utility of low-complexity data-driven persistence-based approaches for skillful streamflow forecasting in the Himalayan country Nepal. The selected approaches are: (1) simple persistence, (2) streamflow climatology and (3) anomaly persistence. We generated the streamflow forecasts for 65 stream gauge stations across Nepal for short-to-medium range forecast lead times (1 to 12 days). The selected gauge stations were monitored by the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM) Nepal, and they represent a wide range of basin size, from ~17 to ~54,100 km2. We find that the performance of persistence-based forecasting approaches depends highly upon the lead time, flow threshold, basin size and flow regime. Overall, the persistence-based forecast results demonstrate higher forecast skill in snow-fed rivers over intermittent ones, moderate flows over extreme ones and larger basins over smaller ones. The streamflow forecast skill obtained in this study can serve as a benchmark (reference) for the evaluation of many operational forecasting systems over the Himalayas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Forecasting)
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Article
Are Combined Tourism Forecasts Better at Minimizing Forecasting Errors?
Forecasting 2020, 2(3), 211-229; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/forecast2030012 - 29 Jun 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 957
Abstract
This study, which was contracted by the European Commission and is geared towards easy replicability by practitioners, compares the accuracy of individual and combined approaches to forecasting tourism demand for the total European Union. The evaluation of the forecasting accuracies was performed recursively [...] Read more.
This study, which was contracted by the European Commission and is geared towards easy replicability by practitioners, compares the accuracy of individual and combined approaches to forecasting tourism demand for the total European Union. The evaluation of the forecasting accuracies was performed recursively (i.e., based on expanding estimation windows) for eight quarterly periods spanning two years in order to check the stability of the outcomes during a changing macroeconomic environment. The study sample includes Eurostat data from January 2005 until August 2017, and out of sample forecasts were calculated for the last two years for three and six months ahead. The analysis of the out-of-sample forecasts for arrivals and overnights showed that forecast combinations taking the historical forecasting performance of individual approaches such as Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) models, REGARIMA models with different trend variables, and Error Trend Seasonal (ETS) models into account deliver the best results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Forecasting)
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