A forecasting model for wave heights based on a long short-term memory neural network

Abstract

To explore new operational forecasting methods of waves, a forecasting model for wave heights at three stations in the Bohai Sea has been developed. This model is based on long short-term memory (LSTM) neural network with sea surface wind and wave heights as training samples. The prediction performance of the model is evaluated, and the error analysis shows that when using the same set of numerically predicted sea surface wind as input, the prediction error produced by the proposed LSTM model at Sta. N01 is 20%, 18% and 23% lower than the conventional numerical wave models in terms of the total root mean square error (RMSE), scatter index (SI) and mean absolute error (MAE), respectively. Particularly, for significant wave height in the range of 3–5 m, the prediction accuracy of the LSTM model is improved the most remarkably, with RMSE, SI and MAE all decreasing by 24%. It is also evident that the numbers of hidden neurons, the numbers of buoys used and the time length of training samples all have impact on the prediction accuracy. However, the prediction does not necessary improve with the increase of number of hidden neurons or number of buoys used. The experiment trained by data with the longest time length is found to perform the best overall compared to other experiments with a shorter time length for training. Overall, long short-term memory neural network was proved to be a very promising method for future development and applications in wave forecasting.

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Correspondence to Yaru Li.

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Foundation item: The National Key R&D Program of China under contract No. 2016YFC1402103.

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Gao, S., Huang, J., Li, Y. et al. A forecasting model for wave heights based on a long short-term memory neural network. Acta Oceanol. Sin. (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13131-020-1680-3

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Key words

  • long short-term memory
  • marine forecast
  • neural network
  • significant wave height