An improved model based on the support vector machine and cuckoo algorithm for simulating reference evapotranspiration

Mohammad Ehteram, Vijay P. Singh, Ahmad Ferdowsi, Sayed Farhad Mousavi, Saeed Farzin, Hojat Karami, Nuruol Syuhadaa Mohd, Haitham Abdulmohsin Afan, Sai Hin Lai, Ozgur Kisi, M. A. Malek, Ali Najah Ahmed, Ahmed El-Shafie

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Reference evapotranspiration (ET0) plays a fundamental role in irrigated agriculture. The objective of this study is to simulate monthly ET0 at a meteorological station in India using a new method, an improved support vector machine (SVM) based on the cuckoo algorithm (CA), which is known as SVM-CA. Maximum temperature, minimum temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and sunshine hours were selected as inputs for the models used in the simulation. The results of the simulation using SVM-CA were compared with those from experimental models, genetic programming (GP), model tree (M5T) and the adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS). The achieved results demonstrate that the proposed SVM-CA model is able to simulate ET0 more accurately than the GP, M5T and ANFIS models. Two major indicators, namely, root mean square error (RMSE) and mean absolute error (MAE), indicated that the SVM-CA outperformed the other methods with respective reductions of 5-15% and 5-17% compared with the GP model, 12-21% and 10-22% compared with the M5T model, and 7-15% and 5-18% compared with the ANFIS model, respectively. Therefore, the proposed SVM-CA model has high potential for accurate simulation of monthly ET0 values compared with the other models.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0217499
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2019


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

Cite this

Ehteram, M., Singh, V. P., Ferdowsi, A., Mousavi, S. F., Farzin, S., Karami, H., Mohd, N. S., Afan, H. A., Lai, S. H., Kisi, O., Malek, M. A., Ahmed, A. N., & El-Shafie, A. (2019). An improved model based on the support vector machine and cuckoo algorithm for simulating reference evapotranspiration. PLoS ONE, 14(5), [e0217499].