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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 70 No. 6, p. 1851-1859
    Received: Jan 30, 2006

    * Corresponding author(s): Amin.Elshorbagy@usask.ca
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Estimating Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity In Spatially Variable Fields Using Neural Network Ensembles

  1. Kamban Parasuramana,
  2. Amin Elshorbagy *a and
  3. Bing Cheng Sib
  1. a Centre for Advanced Numerical Simulation (CANSIM), Dep. of Civil & Geological Engineering, Univ. of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada
    b Dep. of Soil Science, Univ. of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada


Modeling contaminant and water flow through soil requires accurate estimates of soil hydraulic properties in field scale. Although artificial neural networks (ANNs) based pedotransfer functions (PTFs) have been successfully adopted in modeling soil hydraulic properties at larger scales (national, continental, and intercontinental), the utility of ANNs in modeling saturated hydraulic conductivity (K s ) at a smaller (field) scale has rarely been reported. Hence, the objectives of this study are (i) to investigate the applicability of neural networks in estimating K s at field scales, (ii) to compare the performance of the field-scale PTFs with the published neural networks program Rosetta, and (iii) to compare the performance of two different ensemble methods, namely Bagging and Boosting in estimating K s Datasets from two distinct sites are considered in the study. The performances of the models were evaluated when only sand, silt, and clay content (SSC) were used as inputs, and when SSC and bulk density ρb (SSC+ ρb) were used as inputs. For both datasets, the field scale models performed better than Rosetta The comparison of field-scale ANN models employing bagging and boosting algorithms indicates that the neural network model employing the boosting algorithm results in better generalization by reducing both the bias and variance of the neural network models.

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Copyright © 2006. Soil Science SocietySoil Science Society of America