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Predicting Solar Flares Using Machine - Learning Methods


In this talk, we discuss the application of various machine learning algorithms -- such as Support Vector Machine, a sparse linear regression (Lasso), and Convolutional Neural Network, which are all available in the open source python libraries called scikit-learn and caffe -- to image data from the photosphere, chromosphere, transition region, and corona taken by instruments aboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory in order to predict solar activity on a variety of time scales. Such an approach may be useful since, at the present time, there are no physical models of flares available for real-time prediction. We discuss our results (Bobra and Couvidat, 2015; Bobra and Ilonidis, 2016; Jonas et al., 2017) as well as other attempts to predict flares using machine-learning (e.g. Ahmed et al., 2013; Nishizuka et al. 2017) and compare these results with the more traditional techniques used by the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center (Crown, 2012). We also discuss some of the challenges in using machine-learning algorithms for space science applications.


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