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  1. The class-imbalance issue is intrinsic to many real-world machine learning tasks, particularly to the rare-event classification problems. Although the impact and treatment of imbalanced data is widely known, the magnitude of a metric’s sensitivity to class imbalance has attracted little attention. As a result, often the sensitive metrics are dismissed while their sensitivity may only be marginal. In this paper, we introduce an intuitive evaluation framework that quantifies metrics’ sensitivity to the class imbalance. Moreover, we reveal an interesting fact that there is a logarithmic behavior in metrics’ sensitivity meaning that the higher imbalance ratios are associated with the lower sensitivity of metrics. Our framework builds an intuitive understanding of the class-imbalance impact on metrics. We believe this can help avoid many common mistakes, specially the less-emphasized and incorrect assumption that all metrics’ quantities are comparable under different class-imbalance ratios.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 16, 2023
  2. Abstract

    Magnetic polarity inversion lines (PILs) detected in solar active regions have long been recognized as arguably the most essential feature for triggering instabilities such as flares and eruptive events (i.e., eruptive flares and coronal mass ejections). In recent years, efforts have been focused on using features engineered from PILs for solar eruption prediction. However, PIL rasters and metadata are often generated as by-products and are not accessible for public use, which limits their utilization in data-intensive space weather analytics applications. We introduce a large-scale publicly available PIL data set covering practically the entire solar cycle 24 for applying to various space weather forecasting and analytics tasks. The data set is created using both radial magnetic field (B_r) and line-of-sight (B_LoS) magnetograms from the Solar Dynamics Observatory’s Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager Active Region Patches (HARP) that involve 4090 HARP series ranging from 2010 May to 2019 March. This data set includes three PIL-related binary masks of rasters: the actual PILs as per the spatial analysis of the magnetograms, the region of polarity inversion, and the convex hull of PILs, along with time-series-structured metadata extracted from these masks. We also provide a preliminary exploratory analysis of selected features aiming to correlatemore »time series of feature metadata and eruptive activity originating from active regions. We envision that this comprehensive PIL data set will complement existing data sets used for space weather forecasting and benefit research in related areas, specifically in better understanding the PIL structure, evolution, and role in eruptions.

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  3. Solar flare prediction is a central problem in space weather forecasting and has captivated the attention of a wide spectrum of researchers due to recent advances in both remote sensing as well as machine learning and deep learning approaches. The experimental findings based on both machine and deep learning models reveal significant performance improvements for task specific datasets. Along with building models, the practice of deploying such models to production environments under operational settings is a more complex and often time-consuming process which is often not addressed directly in research settings. We present a set of new heuristic approaches to train and deploy an operational solar flare prediction system for ≥M1.0-class flares with two prediction modes: full-disk and active region-based. In full-disk mode, predictions are performed on full-disk line-of-sight magnetograms using deep learning models whereas in active region-based models, predictions are issued for each active region individually using multivariate time series data instances. The outputs from individual active region forecasts and full-disk predictors are combined to a final full-disk prediction result with a meta-model. We utilized an equal weighted average ensemble of two base learners’ flare probabilities as our baseline meta learner and improved the capabilities of our two basemore »learners by training a logistic regression model. The major findings of this study are: 1) We successfully coupled two heterogeneous flare prediction models trained with different datasets and model architecture to predict a full-disk flare probability for next 24 h, 2) Our proposed ensembling model, i.e., logistic regression, improves on the predictive performance of two base learners and the baseline meta learner measured in terms of two widely used metrics True Skill Statistic (TSS) and Heidke Skill Score (HSS), and 3) Our result analysis suggests that the logistic regression-based ensemble (Meta-FP) improves on the full-disk model (base learner) by ∼9% in terms TSS and ∼10% in terms of HSS. Similarly, it improves on the AR-based model (base learner) by ∼17% and ∼20% in terms of TSS and HSS respectively. Finally, when compared to the baseline meta model, it improves on TSS by ∼10% and HSS by ∼15%.« less
  4. Abstract We present a case study of solar flare forecasting by means of metadata feature time series, by treating it as a prominent class-imbalance and temporally coherent problem. Taking full advantage of pre-flare time series in solar active regions is made possible via the Space Weather Analytics for Solar Flares (SWAN-SF) benchmark data set, a partitioned collection of multivariate time series of active region properties comprising 4075 regions and spanning over 9 yr of the Solar Dynamics Observatory period of operations. We showcase the general concept of temporal coherence triggered by the demand of continuity in time series forecasting and show that lack of proper understanding of this effect may spuriously enhance models’ performance. We further address another well-known challenge in rare-event prediction, namely, the class-imbalance issue. The SWAN-SF is an appropriate data set for this, with a 60:1 imbalance ratio for GOES M- and X-class flares and an 800:1 imbalance ratio for X-class flares against flare-quiet instances. We revisit the main remedies for these challenges and present several experiments to illustrate the exact impact that each of these remedies may have on performance. Moreover, we acknowledge that some basic data manipulation tasks such as data normalization and cross validationmore »may also impact the performance; we discuss these problems as well. In this framework we also review the primary advantages and disadvantages of using true skill statistic and Heidke skill score, two widely used performance verification metrics for the flare-forecasting task. In conclusion, we show and advocate for the benefits of time series versus point-in-time forecasting, provided that the above challenges are measurably and quantitatively addressed.« less