Whitepaper: NASA FDL – Disaster Prevention, Progress and Response (Floods)

14 Nov 2019 |
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By Diane O’Donoghue

The Frontier Development Lab (FDL) is a public private partnership run annually with both the European Space Agency (ESA) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The objective of FDL is to bring together researchers from the Artificial Intelligence (AI) and space science sectors to tackle a broad spectrum of challenges in the space industry. 

This year, I spent eight weeks over the summer collaborating with the participants of FDL, hosted in California by the SETI Institute. The projects included challenges in lunar and heliophysics research, astronaut health and disaster prevention. This whitepaper focuses on the Disaster Prevention, Progress and Response (Floods) challenge, for which Kx was a partner.

Floods are one of the most dangerous natural disasters worldwide. All regions can be affected by flooding events and, with the increased variability in weather patterns due to global warming, this is likely to become even more prevalent . The speed at which flooding events can occur, and difficulties in predicting their occurrence, create huge logistic problems for both governmental and non-governmental agencies. Worldwide, floods cost in excess of 40 Billion dollars per year, impacting property, agriculture and the health of individuals.

In particular, this whitepaper looks at the problems of predicting the flood susceptibility of an area and predicting the time taken for a river to reach its peak height after a rainfall event. Kdb+ is used to manage and preprocess the time-series data, while Random Forest and XGBoost models are deployed via embedPy and the ML-Toolkit. 

The white paper is accessible on this link 

Please visit code.kx.com for a complete archive of valuable kdb+ technical whitepapers.

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