Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (2020-11-01)

Two-stage variational mode decomposition and support vector regression for streamflow forecasting

  • G. Zuo,
  • J. Luo,
  • N. Wang,
  • Y. Lian,
  • X. He

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 24
pp. 5491 – 5518


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Streamflow forecasting is a crucial component in the management and control of water resources. Decomposition-based approaches have particularly demonstrated improved forecasting performance. However, direct decomposition of entire streamflow data with calibration and validation subsets is not practical for signal component prediction. This impracticality is due to the fact that the calibration process uses some validation information that is not available in practical streamflow forecasting. Unfortunately, independent decomposition of calibration and validation sets leads to undesirable boundary effects and less accurate forecasting. To alleviate such boundary effects and improve the forecasting performance in basins lacking meteorological observations, we propose a two-stage decomposition prediction (TSDP) framework. We realize this framework using variational mode decomposition (VMD) and support vector regression (SVR) and refer to this realization as VMD-SVR. We demonstrate experimentally the effectiveness, efficiency and accuracy of the TSDP framework and its VMD-SVR realization in terms of the boundary effect reduction, computational cost, and overfitting, in addition to decomposition and forecasting outcomes for different lead times. Specifically, four comparative experiments were conducted based on the ensemble empirical mode decomposition (EEMD), singular spectrum analysis (SSA), discrete wavelet transform (DWT), boundary-corrected maximal overlap discrete wavelet transform (BCMODWT), autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA), SVR, backpropagation neural network (BPNN) and long short-term memory (LSTM). The TSDP framework was also compared with the wavelet data-driven forecasting framework (WDDFF). Results of experiments on monthly runoff data collected from three stations at the Wei River show the superiority of the VMD-SVR model compared to benchmark models.