A new Bayesian recursive technique for parameter estimation

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Journal/Book Title/Conference

Water Resources Research



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The performance of any model depends on how well its associated parameters are estimated. In the current application, a localized Bayesian recursive estimation (LOBARE) approach is devised for parameter estimation. The LOBARE methodology is an extension of the Bayesian recursive estimation (BARE) method. It is applied in this paper on two different types of models: an artificial intelligence (AI) model in the form of a support vector machine (SVM) application for forecasting soil moisture and a conceptual rainfall-runoff (CRR) model represented by the Sacramento soil moisture accounting (SAC-SMA) model. Support vector machines, based on statistical learning theory (SLT), represent the modeling task as a quadratic optimization problem and have already been used in various applications in hydrology. They require estimation of three parameters. SAC-SMA is a very well known model that estimates runoff. It has a 13-dimensional parameter space. In the LOBARE approach presented here, Bayesian inference is used in an iterative fashion to estimate the parameter space that will most likely enclose a best parameter set. This is done by narrowing the sampling space through updating the “parent” bounds based on their fitness. These bounds are actually the parameter sets that were selected by BARE runs on subspaces of the initial parameter space. The new approach results in faster convergence toward the optimal parameter set using minimum training/calibration data and fewer sets of parameter values. The efficacy of the localized methodology is also compared with the previously used BARE algorithm.

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