Artificial intelligence-based inductive models for prediction and classification of fecal coliform in surface waters

Mohammad Tufail, Lindell Ormsbee, Ramesh Teegavarapu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


This paper describes the use of inductive models developed using two artificial intelligence (AI)-based techniques for fecal coliform prediction and classification in surface waters. The two AI techniques used include artificial neural networks (ANNs) and a fixed functional set genetic algorithm (FFSGA) approach for function approximation. While ANNs have previously been used successfully for modeling water quality constituents, FFSGA is a relatively new technique of inductive model development. This paper will evaluate the efficacy of this technique for modeling indicator organism concentrations. In scenarios where process-based models cannot be developed and/or are not feasible, efficient and effective inductive models may be more suitable to provide quick and reasonably accurate predictions of indicator organism concentrations and associated water quality violations. The relative performance of AI-based inductive models is compared with conventional regression models. When raw data are used in the development of the inductive models described in this paper, the AI models slightly outperform the traditional regression models. However, when log transformed data are used, all inductive models show comparable performance. While the work validates the strength of simple regression models, it also validated FFSGA to be an effective technique that competes well with other state-of-the-art and complex techniques such as ANNs. FFSGA comes with the added advantage of resulting in a simple, easy to use, and compact functional form of the model sought. This work adds to the limited amount of research on the use of data-driven modeling methods for indicator organisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)789-799
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Environmental Engineering
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2008


  • Artificial intelligence
  • Computation
  • Neural networks
  • Pathogens
  • Predictions
  • Regression models
  • Surface waters
  • Watersheds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Science (all)


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