American Journal of Energy Research. 2013, 1(1), 7-16DOI:
Abstract: This paper empirically shows that the combined effect of applying the selected feature subsets and optimized parameters on machine learning techniques significantly improves the accuracy for solar power prediction. To provide evidence, experiments are carried on in two phases. For all the experiments the machine learning techniques namely Least Median Square (LMS), Multilayer Perceptron (MLP) and Support Vector Machine (SVM) are used. In the first phase five well-known wrapper feature selection methods are used to obtain the prediction accuracy of machine learning techniques with selected feature subsets and default parameter settings. The experiments from the first phase demonstrate that holding the default parameters, LMS, MLP and SVM provides better prediction accuracy (i.e. reduced MAE and MASE) with selected feature subsets rather than without selected feature subsets. After getting improved prediction accuracy from the first phase, the second phase continues the experiments to optimize machine learning parameters and the prediction accuracy of those machine learning techniques are re-evaluated through adopting both the optimized parameter settings and selected feature subsets. The comparison between the results of two phases clearly shows that the later phase (i.e. machine learning techniques with selected feature subsets and optimized parameters) provides substantial improvement in the accuracy for solar power prediction than the earlier phase (i.e. machine learning techniques with selected feature subsets and default parameters). Experiments are carried out using reliable and real life historical meteorological data. The machine learning accuracy of solar radiation prediction is justified in terms of statistical error measurement and validation metrics. Experimental results of this paper facilitate to make a concrete verdict that providing more attention and effort towards the feature subset selection and machine learning parameter optimization (e.g. combined effect of selected feature subsets and optimized parameters on prediction accuracy which is investigated in this paper) can significantly contribute to improve the accuracy of solar power prediction.