- Comparison of point forecast accuracy of model averaging methods in hydrologic applications
- Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment
- Volume | Issue number
- 24 | 6
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB)
- Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
Amsterdam School of Economics Research Institute (ASE-RI)
Multi-model averaging is currently receiving a surge of attention in the atmospheric, hydrologic, and statistical literature to explicitly handle conceptual model uncertainty in the analysis of environmental systems and derive predictive distributions of model output. Such density forecasts are necessary to help analyze which parts of the model are well resolved, and which parts are subject to considerable uncertainty. Yet, accurate point predictors are still desired in many practical applications. In this paper, we compare a suite of different model averaging techniques by their ability to improve forecast accuracy of environmental systems. We compare equal weights averaging (EWA), Bates-Granger model averaging (BGA), averaging using Akaike’s information criterion (AICA), and Bayes’ Information Criterion (BICA), Bayesian model averaging (BMA), Mallows model averaging (MMA), and Granger-Ramanathan averaging (GRA) for two different hydrologic systems involving water flow through a 1950 km2 watershed and 5 m deep vadose zone. Averaging methods with weights restricted to the multi-dimensional simplex (positive weights summing up to one) are shown to have considerably larger forecast errors than approaches with unconstrained weights. Whereas various sophisticated model averaging approaches have recently emerged in the literature, our results convincingly demonstrate the advantages of GRA for hydrologic applications. This method achieves similar performance as MMA and BMA, but is much simpler to implement and use, and computationally much less demanding.
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