Enhancing Urban Flood Forecasting in Drainage Systems Using Dynamic Ensemble-based Data Mining

Farzad Piadeh, Kourosh Behzadian, Albert S. Chen, Zoran Kapelan, Joseph P. Rizzuto, Luiza C. Campos

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This study presents a novel approach for urban flood forecasting in drainage systems using a dynamic ensemble-based data mining model which has yet to be utilised properly in this context. The proposed method incorporates an event identification technique and rainfall feature extraction to develop weak learner data mining models. These models are then stacked to create a time-series ensemble model using a decision tree algorithm and confusion matrix-based blending method. The proposed model was compared to other commonly used ensemble models in a real-world urban drainage system in the UK. The results show that the proposed model achieves a higher hit rate compared to other benchmark models, with a hit rate of around 85% vs 70 % for the next 3 h of forecasting. Additionally, the proposed smart model can accurately classify various timesteps of flood or non-flood events without significant lag times, resulting in fewer false alarms, reduced unnecessary risk management actions, and lower costs in real-time early warning applications. The findings also demonstrate that two features, “antecedent precipitation history” and “seasonal time occurrence of rainfall,” significantly enhance the accuracy of flood forecasting with a hit rate accuracy ranging from 60 % to 10 % for a lead time of 15 min to 3 h.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120791
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalWater Research
Early online date27 Oct 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2023


  • Data mining
  • drainage systems
  • dynamic ensemble modelling
  • real-time modelling
  • urban flood forecasting
  • Drainage systems
  • Dynamic ensemble modelling
  • Urban flood forecasting
  • Real-time modelling


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