Enhanced flare prediction by advanced feature extraction from solar images : developing automated imaging and machine learning techniques for processing solar images and extracting features from active regions to enable the efficient prediction of solar flares.
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AuthorAhmed, Omar W.
SupervisorQahwaji, Rami S.R.
Ipson, Stanley S.
KeywordSolar active regions
Space weather forecasting
Ising magnetic complexity
The University of Bradford theses are licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.
InstitutionUniversity of Bradford
DepartmentSchool of Computing, Informatics & Media
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AbstractSpace weather has become an international issue due to the catastrophic impact it can have on modern societies. Solar flares are one of the major solar activities that drive space weather and yet their occurrence is not fully understood. Research is required to yield a better understanding of flare occurrence and enable the development of an accurate flare prediction system, which can warn industries most at risk to take preventative measures to mitigate or avoid the effects of space weather. This thesis introduces novel technologies developed by combining advances in statistical physics, image processing, machine learning, and feature selection algorithms, with advances in solar physics in order to extract valuable knowledge from historical solar data, related to active regions and flares. The aim of this thesis is to achieve the followings: i) The design of a new measurement, inspired by the physical Ising model, to estimate the magnetic complexity in active regions using solar images and an investigation of this measurement in relation to flare occurrence. The proposed name of the measurement is the Ising Magnetic Complexity (IMC). ii) Determination of the flare prediction capability of active region properties generated by the new active region detection system SMART (Solar Monitor Active Region Tracking) to enable the design of a new flare prediction system. iii) Determination of the active region properties that are most related to flare occurrence in order to enhance understanding of the underlying physics behind flare occurrence. The achieved results can be summarised as follows: i) The new active region measurement (IMC) appears to be related to flare occurrence and it has a potential use in predicting flare occurrence and location. ii) Combining machine learning with SMART¿s active region properties has the potential to provide more accurate flare predictions than the current flare prediction systems i.e. ASAP (Automated Solar Activity Prediction). iii) Reduced set of 6 active region properties seems to be the most significant properties related to flare occurrence and they can achieve similar degree of flare prediction accuracy as the full 21 SMART active region properties. The developed technologies and the findings achieved in this thesis will work as a corner stone to enhance the accuracy of flare prediction; develop efficient flare prediction systems; and enhance our understanding of flare occurrence. The algorithms, implementation, results, and future work are explained in this thesis.
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Solar Feature Catalogues in EGSOZharkova, Valentina V.; Aboudarham, J.; Zharkov, Sergei I.; Ipson, Stanley S.; Benkhalil, Ali K.; Fuller, N. (Springer, 2005)The Solar Feature Catalogues (SFCs) are created from digitized solar images using automated pattern recognition techniques developed in the European Grid of Solar Observation (EGSO) project. The techniques were applied for detection of sunspots, active regions and filaments in the automatically standardized full-disk solar images in Caii K1, Caii K3 and H¿ taken at the Meudon Observatory and white-light images and magnetograms from SOHO/MDI. The results of automated recognition are verified with the manual synoptic maps and available statistical data from other observatories that revealed high detection accuracy. A structured database of the Solar Feature Catalogues is built on the MySQL server for every feature from their recognized parameters and cross-referenced to the original observations. The SFCs are published on the Bradford University web site http://www.cyber.brad.ac.uk/egso/SFC/ with the pre-designed web pages for a search by time, size and location. The SFCs with 9 year coverage (1996¿2004) provide any possible information that can be extracted from full disk digital solar images. Thus information can be used for deeper investigation of the feature origin and association with other features for their automated classification and solar activity forecast.
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Engineering System Design for Automated Space Weather Forecast. Designing Automatic Software Systems for the Large-Scale Analysis of Solar Data, Knowledge Extraction and the Prediction of Solar Activities Using Machine Learning Techniques.Qahwaji, Rami S.R.; Ipson, Stanley S.; Alomari, Mohammad H. (University of BradfordSchool of Computing, Informatics & Media, 2010-03-03)Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) and solar flares are energetic events taking place at the Sun that can affect the space weather or the near-Earth environment by the release of vast quantities of electromagnetic radiation and charged particles. Solar active regions are the areas where most flares and CMEs originate. Studying the associations among sunspot groups, flares, filaments, and CMEs is helpful in understanding the possible cause and effect relationships between these events and features. Forecasting space weather in a timely manner is important for protecting technological systems and human life on earth and in space. The research presented in this thesis introduces novel, fully computerised, machine learning-based decision rules and models that can be used within a system design for automated space weather forecasting. The system design in this work consists of three stages: (1) designing computer tools to find the associations among sunspot groups, flares, filaments, and CMEs (2) applying machine learning algorithms to the associations¿ datasets and (3) studying the evolution patterns of sunspot groups using time-series methods. Machine learning algorithms are used to provide computerised learning rules and models that enable the system to provide automated prediction of CMEs, flares, and evolution patterns of sunspot groups. These numerical rules are extracted from the characteristics, associations, and time-series analysis of the available historical solar data. The training of machine learning algorithms is based on data sets created by investigating the associations among sunspots, filaments, flares, and CMEs. Evolution patterns of sunspot areas and McIntosh classifications are analysed using a statistical machine learning method, namely the Hidden Markov Model (HMM).