# A Decision Tree for Weather Prediction

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1 BULETINUL UniversităŃii Petrol Gaze din Ploieşti Vol. LXI No. 1/ Seria Matematică - Informatică - Fizică A Decision Tree for Weather Prediction Elia Georgiana Petre Universitatea Petrol-Gaze din Ploieşti, Bd. Bucureşti 39, Ploieşti, Catedra de Informatică Abstract A decision tree represents a decision support tool very often used because it is simple to understand and interpret. Classification and Regression Trees - CART - is a technique formed by a collection of rules based on values of certain variables in the modelling data set. This paper presents a small application of CART for whether prediction. It had been chosen the data collection registered over Hong Kong. The data was recorded between 2002 and To build the decision tree we used a free data mining software available under the GNU General Public License Weka. Then, there are presented the decision tree, the results and the statistical information about the data used to generate the decision model. Key words: decision tree, CART algorithm, data mining, whether prediction Introduction Since ancient times, weather prediction has been one of the most interesting and fascinating domain. The scientists have been trying to forecast the meteorological characteristics using a large set of methods, some of them more accurate than others. Lately, there has been discovered that data mining, a method developed recently, can be successfully applied in this domain. Data mining is a process that uses a variety of data analysis tools to discover patterns and relationships in data that may be used to make valid predictions [1]. The most commonly used techniques in data mining are: artificial neural networks, genetic algorithms, rule induction, nearest neighbour method and memory-based reasoning, logistic regression, discriminant analysis and decision trees. In this paper we present how CART, one of the most popular decision tree algorithms, can be used in weather prediction domain. Brief Description of Decision Trees Decision trees models are commonly used in data mining to examine the data and to induce the tree and its rules that will be used to make predictions. A number of different algorithms may be used for building decision trees including CHAID (Chi-squared Automatic Interaction Detection), CART (Classification And Regression Trees), Quest, and C5.0 [1]. A decision tree is a tree in which each branch node represents a choice between a number of alternatives, and each leaf node represents a decision.

2 78 Elia Georgiana Petre Depending on the algorithm, each node may have two or more branches. For example, CART generates trees with only two branches at each node. Such a tree is called a binary tree. When more than two branches are allowed this is called a multiway tree [2]. In this application, we use CART to build a classification tree to predict the temperature values around Hong Kong. For this, there are used meteorological data registered between 2002 and These aspects are to be discussed in more detail below. Application Description We would like to analyze meteorological data registered during the last years in the capital of China and thus try to forecast the future temperature values in Hong Kong. In order to have a detailed outline of the weather parameters, we have used the data between 2002 and 2005 [4]. The data used to create our database include: year, month, average pressure, relative humidity, clouds quantity, precipitations and average temperature. The next step of our application focuses on transforming these data in order to be used in Weka, a data mining specialized software. Weka (Waikato Environment for Knowledge Analysis) is a popular suite of machine learning written in Java, developed at the University of Waikato. WEKA is a free software available under the GNU General Public License. It contains a collection of visualization tools and algorithms for data analysis and predictive modelling, together with graphical user interfaces for easy access to this functionality [3]. Having in mind the fact that CART algorithm can only work with nominal variables, we have to adapt the data. With this intention we will make some transformations: For year data, 2002 will be in Weka database 2, 2003 will be 3, 2004 is 4 and 2005 is 5. The month parameter will be encoded like: 1 for January, 2 February, 3 March, 4 April, 5 May, 6 June, 7 July, 8 August, 9 September, 10 October, 11 November, 12 December. The average pressure values will be divided in equal intervals, each ones having attached a number: 1 (1000, 1004), 2 (1005, 1009), 3 (1010, 1014), 4 (1015, 1019), 5 (1020, 1024), 6 (1025, 1030). The same codification is used for the relative humidity values: 1 (60, 64), 2 (65, 69), 3 (70, 74), 4 (75, 79), 5 (80, 84), 6 (85, 89), 7 (90, 94), as well as for the clouds quantity: 1 (30, 39), 2 (40, 49), 3 (50, 59), 4 (60, 69), 5 (70, 79), 6 (80, 89), 7 (90, 99) and for precipitations: 1 (0, 99), 2 (100, 199), 3 (200, 299), 4 (300, 399), 5 (400, 499), 6 (500, 599), 7 (600, 699), 8 (700, 799), 9 (800, 899), 10 (900, 999), 11 (1000, 1999), 12 (2000, 2999), 13 (3000, 3999). The predicted variable, average temperature is measured in Celsius degrees and will be implemented in Weka using 1 for the (10, 14) interval, 2 for (15, 19), 3 for (20, 24), 4 for (25, 29) and 5 for (30, 34). In figure 1 is presented file weather.arff, the Weka database after the transformation. Running the Application After this step, in order to generate the decision tree based on the CART algorithm in Weka, we must load our database first, followed by the proper selection of the algorithm from the list provided by this software and then press the Start button.

3 A Decision Tree for Weather Prediction 79 The output generated has the next sections: o Run information o Classifier model o Evaluation on training set o Detailed Accuracy By Class Fig. 1. The Weka database after the transformation The run information part contains general information about the scheme used, the number of instances (48) and attributes (7) as well as the attributes names, as presented in figure 2. === Run information === Scheme: weka.classifiers.trees.simplecart -S 1 -M 2.0 -N 5 -C 1.0 Relation: average_temp Instances: 48 Attributes: 7 year month pres_average umidit_relative clouds_cant precipitations average_temp Test mode: evaluate on training data Fig. 2. The Run Information output

4 80 Elia Georgiana Petre The second part of the output is represented by the CART decision tree (figure 3). === Classifier model (full training set) === CART Decision Tree month=(1) (2) (3) (12) (4) pres_average=(5) (4) (1) (2) (6): 2(13.0/3.0) pres_average!=(5) (4) (1) (2) (6): 3(4.0/0.0) month!=(1) (2) (3) (12) (4): 4(23.0/5.0) Number of Leaf Nodes: 3 Size of the Tree: 5 Time taken to build model: 0.2 seconds Fig. 3. The Classifier model This tree is interpreted using the If-Then rules: If (month = 1 or 2 or 3 or 12 or 4) and (pres_average = 5, 4, 1, 2, 6) then average_temp = 2; If (month = 1 or 2 or 3 or 12 or 4) and (pres_average! = 5, 4, 1, 2, 6) then average_temp = 3; If (month! = 1 or 2 or 3 or 12 or 4) then average_temp = 4. Furthermore, with the coding rules used for the database, these can be explained: If the month is January (1) or February (2) or December (12) or April (4) and the average pressure is in one of the next intervals: (1020, 1024) (5), (1015, 1019) (4), (1000, 1004) (1) or (1025, 1030) (6) then average_temp is in (15, 19) (2) interval. The second rule is: If the month is January (1) or February (2) or December (12) or April (4) and the average pressure is not (!=) in one of the next intervals: (1020, 1024) (5), (1015, 1019) (4), (1000, 1004) (1) or (1025, 1030) (6) then average_temp is in (20, 24) (3) interval. And the third rule can be explained: If the month is not January (1) or February (2) or December (12) or April (4) then average_temp is in (25, 29) (4) interval. Beside this, Weka provides some complementary information about the percent of correctly as well as incorrectly classified instances. In this example, out of a total of 48 instances, only 40 have been correctly classified meaning %. This summary is presented in figure 4, along with some important statistical parameters. One of it is Kappa statistic, a measure of agreement between two individuals, with a value; other parameters are mean absolute error- a quantity used to measure how close forecasts or predictions are to the eventual outcomes, root mean squared error - a good measure of the model s accuracy, root relative squared error - the average of the actual values, relative absolute error - similar to the relative squared error. The forth part of the output, presented in figure 5, contains information regarding the detailed accuracy by class. Here are detailed information concerning the next statistical parameters: o TP Rate (True positive rate) the report of the positive instances classified as positive. There have been classified as positive 92.8% of the positive instances from class 2, 44.4% from class 3 and 100% from the forth class. The best percentage is for the last class which means that all the positive instances were classified as positive.

5 A Decision Tree for Weather Prediction 81 o Precision the number of correctly classified instances divided by the whole classified instances number. For example, the precision value is for class 2, is 1 for class 3 and for class 4. o Recall the same with TP Rate o FP Rate (False Positive Rate) the report of the negative classified instances as positive. In our example, for class 2 this report value is 0.088, meaning only 8.85 % from the negative instances have been classified as positive and for class 4 is 0.2. o F-Measure is a measure of a test's accuracy and is determined using the formula: (2 * TP Rate * Precision) / (TP Rate + Precision) (1) The values are: for class 2 is 0.929, for the third class is and for class 4 is o ROC Area (Receiver Operating Characteristic Area) The ROC curve is given by the TP Rate and FP Rate. The area under the ROC Curve (AUC) is a method of measuring the performance of the ROC curve. If AUC is 1 then the prediction is perfect; if it is 0.5 then the prediction is random. Analyzing our output we conclude that even if the prediction in this case is not perfect, it is not random as well. The best prediction was for class and the week prediction is for class 5. Between this extremes are the values 0.9 for class 4 and for class 3. === Evaluation on training set === == Summary === Correctly Classified Instances % Incorrectly Classified Instances % Kappa statistic Mean absolute error Root mean squared error Relative absolute error % Root relative squared error % Total Number of Instances 48 Fig. 4. Evaluation on training set If the algorithm can t predict something for classes 1, 6 and 7 the report was completed with question marks. === Detailed Accuracy By Class === TP Rate FP Rate Precision Recall F-Measure ROC Area Class ? ? ? 7 Fig. 5. Detailed accuracy by class This information can be used in prediction work. Thus, if we know the month and the average pressure value, using this decision tree, we can estimate the future value for the average temperature.

6 82 Elia Georgiana Petre Conclusions This paper presents an example of a decision tree building process, one of the most common data mining techniques. We have tried to highlight the way the stored data about past events can be used in the forecast of the future ones. We can predict, with a certain accurate, the average temperature for a future month if we have data regarding some important aspects of the weather. For that we can use a decision tree built with CART algorithm implemented in a specialized software in data mining - Weka. Future work can include the extension of the database with other important weather parameters like wind speed, wind direction or radiation. Beside this aspect, we can enlarge our database with records from other years not only from 2002 to Having all this improvements in mind, we can increase the precision in building the decision tree and the weather prediction based on it. References 1. * * * - Introduction to Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery, Third Edition, Two Crowds Corporation, accessed on 12 April * * * - Data mining Models and Algorithms, accessed on 13 April * * * - Weka Software Documentation, accessed on 23 April * * * - Hong Kong Observatory, accessed on 15 April 2009 Rezumat Un arbore de decizie pentru predicńia stării vremii Un arbore de decizie este un instrument de suport decizional folosit deseori deoarece este simplu de înńeles şi de interpretat. Arborii de Clasificare şi Regresie CART reprezintă o metodă formată dintr-o colecńie de reguli bazate pe valorile anumitor variabile din setul de date folosit pentru modelare. În această lucrare este prezentată o aplicańie CART în predicńia vremii. A fost aleasă colecńia de date înregistrate în Hong Kong. Această bază de date conńine înregistrări din 2002 până în Pentru construirea arborelui de decizie a fost folosit un software gratuit dedicat data mining Weka. Apoi, sunt prezentate atât arborele de decizie cât şi rezultatele statistice referitoare la datele folosite în construirea modelului decizional.

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