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Modelling and Simulation in Engineering
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 635018, 10 pages
Research Article

An Assessment of a Proposed Hybrid Neural Network for Daily Flow Prediction in Arid Climate

Department of Hydraulic and Hydrology, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 Johor, Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Received 28 May 2013; Revised 9 November 2013; Accepted 20 November 2013; Published 6 February 2014

Academic Editor: Dariusz J. Gawin

Copyright © 2014 Milad Jajarmizadeh et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Rainfall-runoff simulation in hydrology using artificial intelligence presents the nonlinear relationships using neural networks. In this study, a hybrid network presented as a feedforward modular neural network (FF-MNN) has been developed to predict the daily rainfall-runoff of the Roodan watershed at the southern part of Iran. This FF-MNN has three layers—input, hidden, and output. The hidden layer has two types of neural expert or module. Hydrometeorological data of the catchment were collected for 21 years. Heuristic method was used to develop the MNN for exploring daily flow generalization. Two training algorithms, namely, backpropagation with momentum and Levenberg-Marquardt, were used. Sigmoid and linear transfer functions were employed to explore the network’s optimum behavior. Cross-validation and predictive uncertainty assessments were carried out to protect overtiring and overparameterization, respectively. Results showed that the FF-MNN could satisfactorily predict stream flow during testing period. The Nash-Sutcliff coefficient, coefficient of determination, and root mean square error obtained using MNN during training and test periods were 0.85, 0.85, and 39.4 and 0.57, 0.58, and 32.2, respectively. The predictive uncertainties for both periods were 0.39 and 0.44, respectively. Generally, the study showed that the FF-MNN can give promising prediction for rainfall-runoff relations.