Why is Short-Time PM2.5 Forecast Difficult? The Effects of Sudden Events

Nai Cih Liou*, Cyuan Heng Luo, Sachit Mahajan, Ling Jyh Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The existing forecast models for PM2.5 concentration can be classified into long term and short term models depending on whether the forecast is performed for the next few hours or days. However, short term forecast models feature narrow forecast time and are thus vulnerable in their sensitivity to soaring variations in air quality, defined as sudden events. The purpose of this work is to investigate the causes behind these sudden events. The PM2.5 data were obtained from monitoring devices deployed in Taichung as a part of the Airbox project. The data were fed into the current short-term forecast model to forecast air quality for the next hour. Event timing was detected by feeding the forecast result as an input to the sudden event detection model. We then combined the filtered timing with factors in environment and human activities. With the application of Hierarchy Clustering, the clustering result was analyzed to find the causes of sudden events. In the springtime and summertime, unexpected changes in rainfall and temperature were critical for forecast models. Moreover, unanticipated changes in the intensity of rainfall and wind are important in the autumn and winter. For human activities, crowds of commuters, tourists, and pilgrims also have influence on unusual air quality. By carefully considering the effects of sudden events, we believe that the response ability of short time forecast can improve significantly in the near future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8946530
Pages (from-to)12662-12674
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Internet of Things
  • Low-cost sensors
  • PM2.5
  • data analysis
  • hierarchical clustering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering


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