Inter-Comparison of Different Bayesian Model Averaging Modifications in Streamflow Simulation

Inter-Comparison of Different Bayesian Model Averaging Modifications in Streamflow Simulation

Darbandsari, P., & Coulibaly, P. (2019). Inter-Comparison of Different Bayesian Model Averaging Modifications in Streamflow Simulation. Water, 11(8), 1707.

Bayesian model averaging (BMA) is a popular method using the advantages of forecast ensemble to enhance the reliability and accuracy of predictions. The inherent assumptions of the classical BMA has led to different variants. However, there is not a comprehensive examination of how these solutions improve the original BMA in the context of streamflow simulation. In this study, a scenario-based analysis was conducted for assessment of various modifications and how they affect BMA results. The evaluated modifications included using various streamflow ensembles, data transformation procedures, distribution types, standard deviation forms, and optimization methods. We applied the proposed analysis in two data-poor watersheds located in northern Ontario, Canada. The results indicate that using more representative distribution types do not significantly improve BMA-derived results, while the positive effect of implementing non-constant variance on BMA probabilistic performance cannot be ignored. Also, higher reliability was obtained by applying a data transformation procedure; however, it can reduce the results’ sharpness significantly. Moreover, although considering many streamflow simulations as ensemble members does not always enhance BMA results, using different forcing precipitation scenarios besides multi-models led to better BMA-based probabilistic simulations in data-poor watersheds. Also, the reliability of the expectation-maximization algorithm in estimating BMA parameters was confirmed.