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Advances in Environmental Research
  Volume 4, Number 4, December 2015 , pages 219-231

The prediction of atmospheric concentrations of toluene using artificial neural network methods in Tehran
Gholamreza Asadollahfardi, Shiva Homayoun Aria and Mahdi Mehdinejad

    In recent years, raising air pollutants has become as a big concern, especially in metropolitan cities such as Tehran. Therefore, forecasting the level of pollutants plays a significant role in air quality management. One of the forecasting tools that can be used is an artificial neural network which is able to model the complicated process of air pollution. In this study, we applied two different methods of artificial neural networks, the Multilayer Perceptron (MLP) and Radial Basis Function (RBF), to predict the hourly air concentrations of toluene in Tehran. Hourly temperature, wind speed, humidity and NOx were selected as inputs. Both methods had acceptable results; however, the RBF neural network produced better results. The coefficient of determination (R2) between the observed and predicted data was 0.9642 and 0.99 for MLP and RBF neural networks, respectively. The results of the mean bias errors (MBE) were 0.00 and -0.014 for RBF and MLP, respectively which indicate the adequacy of the models. The index of agreement (IA) between the observed and predicted data was 0.999 and 0.994 in the RBF and the MLP, respectively which indicates the efficiency of the models. Finally, sensitivity analysis related to the MLP neural network determined that temperature was the most significant factor in air concentration of toluene in Tehran which may be due to the volatile nature of toluene.
Key Words
    air quality; MLP neural network; RBF neural network; toluene; prediction
Civil Engineering Department at Kharazmi University, NO.49,Mofateh St.,Tehran, Iran.

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