Towards detailed and interpretable hybrid modeling of continental-scale bird migration

Published: 17 Jun 2024, Last Modified: 17 Jul 2024ICML2024-AI4Science SpotlightEveryoneRevisionsBibTeXCC BY 4.0
Keywords: spatio-temporal forecasting, hybrid modeling, bird migration
TL;DR: We present an improved hybrid model for continental-scale bird migration forecasting
Abstract: Hybrid modeling aims to augment traditional theory-driven models with machine learning components that learn unknown parameters, sub-models or correction terms from data. In this work, we build on FluxRGNN, a recently developed hybrid model of continental-scale bird migration, which combines a movement model inspired by fluid dynamics with recurrent neural networks that capture the complex decision-making processes of birds. While FluxRGNN has been shown to successfully predict key migration patterns, its spatial resolution is constrained by the typically sparse observations obtained from weather radars. Additionally, its trainable components lack explicit incentives to adequately predict take-off and landing events. Both aspects limit our ability to interpret model results ecologically. To address this, we propose two major modifications that allow for more detailed predictions on any desired tessellation while providing control over the interpretability of model components. In experiments on the U.S. weather radar network, the enhanced model effectively leverages the underlying movement model, resulting in strong extrapolation capabilities to unobserved locations.
Submission Number: 128