Ensemble of ensembles for fine particulate matter pollution prediction using big data analytics and IoT emission sensors

Christian Nnaemeka Egwim, Hafiz Alaka, Youlu Pan, Habeeb Balogun, Saheed Ajayi, Abdul Hye, Oluwapelumi Oluwaseun Egunjobi

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The study aims to develop a multilayer high-effective ensemble of ensembles predictive model (stacking ensemble) using several hyperparameter optimized ensemble machine learning (ML) methods (bagging and boosting ensembles) trained with high-volume data points retrieved from Internet of Things (IoT) emission sensors, time-corresponding meteorology and traffic data.

For a start, the study experimented big data hypothesis theory by developing sample ensemble predictive models on different data sample sizes and compared their results. Second, it developed a standalone model and several bagging and boosting ensemble models and compared their results. Finally, it used the best performing bagging and boosting predictive models as input estimators to develop a novel multilayer high-effective stacking ensemble predictive model.

Results proved data size to be one of the main determinants to ensemble ML predictive power. Second, it proved that, as compared to using a single algorithm, the cumulative result from ensemble ML algorithms is usually always better in terms of predicted accuracy. Finally, it proved stacking ensemble to be a better model for predicting PM2.5 concentration level than bagging and boosting ensemble models.

Research limitations/implications
A limitation of this study is the trade-off between performance of this novel model and the computational time required to train it. Whether this gap can be closed remains an open research question. As a result, future research should attempt to close this gap. Also, future studies can integrate this novel model to a personal air quality messaging system to inform public of pollution levels and improve public access to air quality forecast.

Practical implications
The outcome of this study will aid the public to proactively identify highly polluted areas thus potentially reducing pollution-associated/ triggered COVID-19 (and other lung diseases) deaths/ complications/ transmission by encouraging avoidance behavior and support informed decision to lock down by government bodies when integrated into an air pollution monitoring system

This study fills a gap in literature by providing a justification for selecting appropriate ensemble ML algorithms for PM2.5 concentration level predictive modeling. Second, it contributes to the big data hypothesis theory, which suggests that data size is one of the most important factors of ML predictive capability. Third, it supports the premise that when using ensemble ML algorithms, the cumulative output is usually always better in terms of predicted accuracy than using a single algorithm. Finally developing a novel multilayer high-performant hyperparameter optimized ensemble of ensembles predictive model that can accurately predict PM2.5 concentration levels with improved model interpretability and enhanced generalizability, as well as the provision of a novel databank of historic pollution data from IoT emission sensors that can be purchased for research, consultancy and policymaking.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Engineering, Design and Technology
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2023


  • IoT
  • Big Data Analytics
  • Machine Learning
  • Air Pollution Prediction
  • Ensemble of Ensembles
  • Air pollution prediction
  • Machine learning
  • Big data analytics
  • Ensemble of ensembles


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