A support vector regression-firefly algorithm-based model for limiting velocity prediction in sewer pipes

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Sediment transport without deposition is an essential consideration in the optimum design of sewer pipes. In this study, a novel method based on a combination of support vector regression (SVR) and the firefly algorithm (FFA) is proposed to predict the minimum velocity required to avoid sediment settling in pipe channels, which is expressed as the densimetric Froude number (Fr). The efficiency of support vector machine (SVM) models depends on the suitable selection of SVM parameters. In this particular study, FFA is used by determining these SVM parameters. The actual effective parameters on Fr calculation are generally identified by employing dimensional analysis. The different dimensionless variables along with the models are introduced. The best performance is attributed to the model that employs the sediment volumetric concentration (CV), ratio of relative median diameter of particles to hydraulic radius (d/R), dimensionless particle number (Dgr) and overall sediment friction factor (λs) parameters to estimate Fr. The performance of the SVR-FFA model is compared with genetic programming, artificial neural network and existing regression-based equations. The results indicate the superior performance of SVR-FFA (mean absolute percentage error = 2.123%; root mean square error =0.116) compared with other methods.

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