Pairwise networks for feature ranking of a geomagnetic storm model




Feedforward neural networks provide the basis for complex regression models that produce accurate predictions in a variety of applications. However, they generally do not explicitly provide any information about the utility of each of the input parameters in terms of their contribution to model accuracy. With this in mind, we develop the pairwise network, an adaptation to the fully connected feedforward network that allows the ranking of input parameters according to their contribution to model output. The application is demonstrated in the context of a space physics problem. Geomagnetic storms are multi-day events characterised by significant perturbations to the magnetic field of the Earth, driven by solar activity. Previous storm forecasting efforts typically use solar wind measurements as input parameters to a regression problem tasked with predicting a perturbation index such as the 1-minute cadence symmetric-H (Sym-H) index. We re-visit the task of predicting Sym-H from solar wind parameters, with two ‘twists’: (i) Geomagnetic storm phase information is incorporated as model inputs and shown to increase prediction performance. (ii) We describe the pairwise network structure and training process – first validating ranking ability on synthetic data, before using the network to analyse the Sym-H problem.






Research Papers (general)