Radial Basis Function (RBF) Neural Network: Effect of Hidden Neuron Number, Training Data Size, and Input Variables on Rainfall Intensity Forecasting

Soo See Chai, Wei Keat Wong, Kok Luong Goh, Hui Hui Wang, Yin Chai Wang


Mean daily rainfall of more than 30mm could result in flood hazard. Accurate prediction of rainfall intensity could help in forecasting of flash flood and help to save lives and properties. One of the common machine learning techniques in rainfall prediction is Radial Basis Function (RBF) neural network. Rainfall intensity is classified into four categories, i.e. light (<10mm), medium (11-30mm), heavy (31-50mm)  and very heavy (>50mm) in this study. The rainfall intensity categories is forecasted using the RBF network model utilizing the daily meteorology data for Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. The input vectors being considered for the RBF network model are minimum, maximum and mean temperature (°C), mean relative humidity (%), mean wind speed (m/s), mean sea level pressure (hPa) and mean precipitation (mm) for the year 2009 to 2013. The prime focus in this paper is to analyse the ramification of the training data size, number of hidden neurons, and different input variables (i.e. combination of meteorology data) in influencing the performance of the RBF network model. From this study, it could be concluded that, the factor that would influence the performance of the RBF model is only the input variables used, if and only if the network model is equipped with sufficient number of hidden neurons and trained with adequate number of training data. Another interesting observation from this study is that, the RBF network model produced consistent result throughout the testing using a specific hidden neuron number when the RBF network is retrained and tested.


rainfall; radial basis function; intensity; forecasting; meteorology data.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18517/ijaseit.9.6.10239


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