This paper introduces three artificial neural network (ANN) architectures for monthly streamflow forecasting: a radial basis function network, an extreme learning machine, and the Elman network. Three ensemble techniques, a simple average ensemble, a weighted average ensemble, and an ANN-based ensemble, were used to combine the outputs of the individual ANN models. The objective was to highlight the performance of the general regression neural network-based ensemble technique (GNE) through an improvement of monthly streamflow forecasting accuracy. Before the construction of an ANN model, data preanalysis techniques, such as empirical wavelet transform (EWT), were exploited to eliminate the oscillations of the streamflow series. Additionally, a theory of chaos phase space reconstruction was used to select the most relevant and important input variables for forecasting. The proposed GNE ensemble model has been applied for the mean monthly streamflow observation data from the Wudongde hydrological station in the Jinsha River Basin, China. Comparisons and analysis of this study have demonstrated that the denoised streamflow time series was less disordered and unsystematic than was suggested by the original time series according to chaos theory. Thus, EWT can be adopted as an effective data preanalysis technique for the prediction of monthly streamflow. Concurrently, the GNE performed better when compared with other ensemble techniques.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited