Pourghasemi, HR; Gayen, A; Lasaponara, R; Tiefenbacher, JP (2020). Application of learning vector quantization and different machine learning techniques to assessing forest fire influence factors and spatial modelling. ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH, 184, 109321.

This study assesses forest-fire susceptibility (FFS) in Fars Province, Iran using three geographic information system (GIS)-based machine-learning algorithms: boosted regression tree (BRT), general linear model (GLM), and mixture discriminant analysis (MDA). Recently, BRT, GLM, and MDA have become important machine-learning algorithms and their use has been enriched by application to various fields of research. A database of historical FFs identified using Landsat-8 OLI and MODIS satellite images (at 358 locations) and ten influencing factors (elevation, slope, topographical wetness index, aspect, distance from urban areas, annual mean temperature, land use, distance from road, annual mean rainfall, and distance from river) were input into a GIS. The 358 sites were divided into two sets for training (70%) and validation (30%). BRT, GLM, and MDA models were used to analyze the spatial relationships between the factors influencing FFs and the locations of fires to generate an FFS map. The prediction success of each modelled FFS map was determined with the help of the ROC curve, accuracy, overall accuracy, True-skill statistic (TSS), F-measures, corrected classify instances (CCI), and K-fold cross-validation (4-fold). The accuracy results of training and validation dataset in the BRT (AUC = 88.90% and 88.2%) and MDA (AUC = 86.4% and 85.6%) models are more effective than the GLM (AUC = 86.6% and 82.5%) model. Also, the outcome of the 4-fold measure confirmed the results from the other accuracy measures. Therefore, the accuracies of the BRT and MDA models are satisfactory and are suitable for FFS mapping in Fars Province. Finally, the well-accepted neural network application of learning-vector quantization (LVQ) reveals that land use, annual mean rainfall, and slope angle were the most useful determinants of FFS. The resulting FFS maps can enhance the effectiveness of planning and management of forest resources and ecological balances in this province.