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Title: Impact of regression methods on improved effects of soil structure on soil water retention estimates
Authors: Nguyễn, Minh Phượng
Lê, Văn Khoa
Cornelis, Wim M.
Pue, Jan De
Keywords: Pedotransfer function
Soilwater retention characteristics
Support Vector Machines
k-Nearest Neighbors
Issue Date: 2015
Series/Report no.: Journal of Hydrology;525 .- p.598-606
Abstract: Increasing the accuracy of pedotransfer functions (PTFs), an indirect method for predicting non-readily available soil features such as soil water retention characteristics (SWRC), is of crucial importance for large scale agro-hydrological modeling. Adding significant predictors (i.e., soil structure), and implementing more flexible regression algorithms are among the main strategies of PTFs improvement. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the improved effect of categorical soil structure information on estimating soil-water content at various matric potentials, which has been reported in literature, could be enduringly captured by regression techniques other than the usually applied linear regression. Two data mining techniques, i.e., Support Vector Machines (SVM), and k-Nearest Neighbors (kNN), which have been recently introduced as promising tools for PTF development, were utilized to test if the incorporation of soil structure will improve PTF’s accuracy under a context of rather limited training data. The results show that incorporating descriptive soil structure information, i.e., massive, structured and structureless, as grouping criterion can improve the accuracy of PTFs derived by SVM approach in the range of matric potential of - 6 to -33 kPa (average RMSE decreased up to 0.005 m³ mˉ³ after grouping, depending on matric potentials). The improvement was primarily attributed to the outperformance of SVM-PTFs calibrated on structureless soils. No improvement was obtained with kNN technique, at least not in our study in which the data set became limited in size after grouping. Since there is an impact of regression techniques on the improved effect of incorporating qualitative soil structure information, selecting a proper technique will help to maximize the combined influence of flexible regression algorithms and soil structure information on PTF accuracy.
URI: http://localhost:8080//jspui/handle/123456789/5225
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