Semi-Supervised Detection of Extreme Weather Events in Large Climate Datasets

Evan Racah, Christopher Beckham, Tegan Maharaj, Prabhat, Christopher Pal

Nov 04, 2016 (modified: Jan 14, 2017) ICLR 2017 conference submission readers: everyone
  • Abstract: The detection and identification of extreme weather events in large scale climate simulations is an important problem for risk management, informing governmental policy decisions and advancing our basic understanding of the climate system. Recent work has shown that fully supervised convolutional neural networks (CNNs) can yield acceptable accuracy for classifying well-known types of extreme weather events when large amounts of labeled data are available. However, there are many different types of spatially localized climate patterns of interest (including hurricanes, extra-tropical cyclones, weather fronts, blocking events, etc.) found in simulation data for which labeled data is not available at large scale for all simulations of interest. We present a multichannel spatiotemporal encoder-decoder CNN architecture for semi-supervised bounding box prediction and exploratory data analysis. This architecture is designed to fully model multi-channel simulation data, temporal dynamics and unlabelled data within a reconstruction and prediction framework so as to improve the detection of a wide range of extreme weather events. Our architecture can be viewed as a 3D convolutional autoencoder with an additional modified one-pass bounding box regression loss. We demonstrate that our approach is able to leverage temporal information and unlabelled data to improve localization of extreme weather events. Further, we explore the representations learned by our model in order to better understand this important data, and facilitate further work in understanding and mitigating the effects of climate change.
  • TL;DR: Semi-supervised 3D CNN's improve bounding box detection of weather events in climate simulations compared to supervised approaches.
  • Keywords: Semi-Supervised Learning, Applications, Computer vision
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