Environ Monit Assess. 2023 Sep 10;195(10):1180. doi: 10.1007/s10661-023-11646-3.
The air quality index (AQI) prediction is important to evaluate the effects of air pollutants on human health. The airborne pollutants have been a major threat in Delhi both in the past and coming years. The air quality index is a figure, based on the cumulative effect of major air pollutant concentrations, used by Government agencies, for air quality assessment. Thus, the main aim of the present study is to predict the daily AQI one year in advance through three different neural network models (FF-NN, CF-NN and LR-NN) for the year 2020 and compare them. The models were trained using AQI values of previous year (2019). In addition to main air pollutants like PM10/PM2.5, O3, SO2, NOx, CO and NH3, the non-criteria pollutants and meteorological data were also included as input parameter in this study. The model performances were assessed using statistical analysis. The key air pollutants contributing to high level of daily AQI were found to be PM2.5/PM10, CO and NO2. The root mean square error (RMSE) values of 31.86 and 28.03 were obtained for the FF-NN and CF-NN models respectively whereas the LR-NN model has the minimum RMSE value of 26.79. LR-NN algorithm predicted the AQI values very closely to the actual values in almost all the seasons of the year. The LR-NN performance was also found to be the best in post-monsoon season i.e., October and November (maximum R2 = 0.94) with respect to other seasons. The study would aid air pollution control authorities to predict AQI more precisely and adopt suitable pollution control measures. Further research studies are recommended to compare the performance of LR-NN model with statistical, numerical and computational models for accurate air quality assessment.