Physics-Guided Recurrent Graph Networks for Predicting Flow and Temperature in River Networks

09/26/2020 ∙ by Xiaowei Jia, et al. ∙ 0

This paper proposes a physics-guided machine learning approach that combines advanced machine learning models and physics-based models to improve the prediction of water flow and temperature in river networks. We first build a recurrent graph network model to capture the interactions among multiple segments in the river network. Then we present a pre-training technique which transfers knowledge from physics-based models to initialize the machine learning model and learn the physics of streamflow and thermodynamics. We also propose a new loss function that balances the performance over different river segments. We demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method in predicting temperature and streamflow in a subset of the Delaware River Basin. In particular, we show that the proposed method brings a 33%/14% improvement over the state-of-the-art physics-based model and 24%/14% over traditional machine learning models (e.g., Long-Short Term Memory Neural Network) in temperature/streamflow prediction using very sparse (0.1%) observation data for training. The proposed method has also been shown to produce better performance when generalized to different seasons or river segments with different streamflow ranges.

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