Flood susceptibility mapping using novel ensembles of adaptive neuro fuzzy inference system and metaheuristic algorithms

Seyed Vahid Razavi Termeh, Aiding Kornejady, Hamid Reza Pourghasemi*, Saskia Keesstra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

267 Citations (Scopus)


Flood is one of the most destructive natural disasters which cause great financial and life losses per year. Therefore, producing susceptibility maps for flood management are necessary in order to reduce its harmful effects. The aim of the present study is to map flood hazard over the Jahrom Township in Fars Province using a combination of adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference systems (ANFIS) with different metaheuristics algorithms such as ant colony optimization (ACO), genetic algorithm (GA), and particle swarm optimization (PSO) and comparing their accuracy. A total number of 53 flood locations areas were identified, 35 locations of which were randomly selected in order to model flood susceptibility and the remaining 16 locations were used to validate the models. Learning vector quantization (LVQ), as one of the supervised neural network methods, was employed in order to estimate factors' importance. Nine flood conditioning factors namely: slope degree, plan curvature, altitude, topographic wetness index (TWI), stream power index (SPI), distance from river, land use/land cover, rainfall, and lithology were selected and the corresponding maps were prepared in ArcGIS. The frequency ratio (FR) model was used to assign weights to each class within particular controlling factor, then the weights was transferred into MATLAB software for further analyses and to combine with metaheuristic models. The ANFIS-PSO was found to be the most practical model in term of producing the highly focused flood susceptibility map with lesser spatial distribution related to highly susceptible classes. The chi-square result attests the same, where the ANFIS-PSO had the highest spatial differentiation within flood susceptibility classes over the study area. The area under the curve (AUC) obtained from ROC curve indicated the accuracy of 91.4%, 91.8%, 92.6% and 94.5% for the respective models of FR, ANFIS-ACO, ANFIS-GA, and ANFIS-PSO ensembles. So, the ensemble of ANFIS-PSO was introduced as the premier model in the study area. Furthermore, LVQ results revealed that slope degree, rainfall, and altitude were the most effective factors. As regards the premier model, a total area of 44.74% was recognized as highly susceptible to flooding. The results of this study can be used as a platform for better land use planning in order to manage the highly susceptible zones to flooding and reduce the anticipated losses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)438-451
Number of pages14
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2018


  • Ant colony
  • Flood susceptibility mapping
  • Genetic algorithm
  • Particle swarm optimization


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