Training Deep Neural Networks with Low Precision Input Data: A Hurricane Prediction Case Study

  • Albert Kahira
  • Leonardo Bautista GomezEmail author
  • Rosa M. Badia
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11203)


Training deep neural networks requires huge amounts of data. The next generation of intelligent systems will generate and utilise massive amounts of data which will be transferred along machine learning workflows. We study the effect of reducing the precision of this data at early stages of the workflow (i.e. input) on both prediction accuracy and learning behaviour of deep neural networks. We show that high precision data can be transformed to low precision before feeding it to a neural network model with insignificant depreciation in accuracy. As such, a high precision representation of input data is not entirely necessary for some applications. The findings of this study pave way for the application of deep learning in areas where acquiring high precision data is difficult due to both memory and computational power constraints. We further use a hurricane prediction case study where we predict the monthly number of hurricanes on the Atlantic Ocean using deep neural networks. We train a deep neural network model that predicts the number of hurricanes, first, by using high precision input data and then by using low precision data. This leads to only a drop in prediction accuracy of less than 2%.


Deep neural network Low precision Hurricane prediction 



The authors would like to thank Dr. Alicia Sanchez, Dr. Louis-Philippe Caron and Dr. Dario Garcia for the many helpful discussions and providing data for this research work.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 713673.

Albert Kahira has received financial support through the “la Caixa” INPhINIT Fellowship Grant for Doctoral studies at Spanish Research Centres of Excellence, “la Caixa” Banking Foundation, Barcelona, Spain.”

This work is partly supported by the Spanish Government through Programa Severo Ochoa (SEV-2015-0493), by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology through TIN2015-65316 project, by the Generalitat de Catalunya under contracts 2014-SGR-1051 and 2014-SGR-1272.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Albert Kahira
    • 1
    • 2
  • Leonardo Bautista Gomez
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rosa M. Badia
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Barcelona Supercomputing CenterBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Universitat Politècnica de CatalunyaBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)MadridSpain

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