Multiple-input–multiple-output general regression neural networks model for the simultaneous estimation of traffic-related air pollutant emissions

Traffic-related air pollutant emissions have become a global environmental problem, especially in urban areas. The estimation of pollutant emissions is based on complex models that require the use of detailed travel-activity data, which is often unavailable and in particular, in developing countries. In order to overcome this issue, an alternative multiple-input–multiple-output general regression neural network model, based on basic socioeconomic and transport related indicators, is proposed for the simultaneous prediction of sulphur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx), ammonia (NH3), non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOC) and particulate matter emissions at the national level. The best model, created using only six inputs, has MAPE (mean absolute percentage error) values on testing in the range of 12–15% for all studied pollutants, except NMVOC (MAPE = 21%). The obtained predictions for SOx, NH3 and PM10 emissions were in good agreement with the reported emissions (R2 ≥ 0.93), while the predictions for NOx and NMVOC are somewhat less accurate (R2 ≈ 0.85). It can be concluded that the presented ANN approach can offer a simple and relatively accurate alternative method for the estimation of traffic-related air pollutant emissions.


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Multiple-input–multiple-output general regression neural networks model for the simultaneous estimation of traffic-related air pollutant emissions