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Workshop: NeurIPS 2023 Workshop on Tackling Climate Change with Machine Learning: Blending New and Existing Knowledge Systems

Uncertainty Quantified Machine Learning for Street Level Flooding Predictions in Norfolk, Virginia

Steven Goldenberg · Diana McSpadden · Binata Roy · Malachi Schram · Jonathan Goodall · Heather Richter


Everyday citizens, emergency responders, and critical infrastructure can be dramatically affected by the flooding of streets and roads. Climate change exacerbates these floods through sea level rise and more frequent major storm events. Low-level flooding, such as nuisance flooding, continues to increase in frequency, especially in cities like Norfolk, Virginia, which can expect nearly 200 flooding events by 2050 [1]. Recently, machine learning (ML) models have been leveraged to produce real-time predictions based on local weather and geographic conditions. However, ML models are known to produce unusual results when presented with data that varies from their training set. For decision-makers to determine the trustworthiness of the model's predictions, ML models need to quantify their prediction uncertainty. This study applies Deep Quantile Regression to a previously published, Long Short-Term Memory-based model for hourly water depth predictions [2], and analyzes its out-of-distribution performance.

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