Assessment of urban flood susceptibility using semi-supervised machine learning model

Gang Zhao, Bo Pang*, Zongxue Xu, Dingzhi Peng, Liyang Xu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


In order to identify flood-prone areas with limited flood inventories, a semi-supervised machine learning model—the weakly labeled support vector machine (WELLSVM)—is used to assess urban flood susceptibility in this study. A spatial database is collected from metropolitan areas in Beijing, including flood inventories from 2004 to 2014 and nine metrological, geographical, and anthropogenic explanatory factors. Urban flood susceptibility is mapped and compared using logistic regression, artificial neural networks, and a support vector machine. Model performances are evaluated using four evaluation indices (accuracy, precision, recall, and F-score) as well as the receiver operating characteristic curve. The results show that WELLSVM can better utilize the spatial information (unlabeled data), and it outperforms all comparison models. The high-quality WELLSVM flood susceptibility map is thus applicable to efficient urban flood management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)940-949
Number of pages10
JournalScience of The Total Environment
Early online date15 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019


  • Beijing
  • Flood susceptibility
  • Semi-supervised machine learning model
  • Urban area
  • Weakly labeled support vector machine

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