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Enhancing spatial inference of air pollution using machine learning techniques with low-cost monitors in data-limited scenarios

Kamigauti, L. Y. ORCID:, Perez, G. M. P., Martin, T. C. M., de Fatima Andrade, M. and Kumar, P. ORCID: (2024) Enhancing spatial inference of air pollution using machine learning techniques with low-cost monitors in data-limited scenarios. Environmental Science: Atmospheres. ISSN 2634-3606

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1039/d3ea00126a


Ensuring environmental justice necessitates equitable access to air quality data, particularly for vulnerable communities. However, traditional air quality data from reference monitors can be costly and challenging to interpret without in-depth knowledge of local meteorology. Low-cost monitors present an opportunity to enhance data availability in developing countries and enable the establishment of local monitoring networks. While machine learning models have shown promise in atmospheric dispersion modelling, many existing approaches rely on complementary data sources that are inaccessible in low-income areas, such as smartphone tracking and real-time traffic monitoring. This study addresses these limitations by introducing deep learning-based models for particulate matter dispersion at the neighbourhood scale. The models utilize data from low-cost monitors and widely available free datasets, delivering root mean square errors (RMSE) below 2.9 μg m−3 for PM1, PM2.5, and PM10. The sensitivity analysis shows that the most important inputs to the models were the nearby monitors' PM concentrations, boundary layer dissipation and height, and precipitation variables. The models presented different sensitivities to each road type, and an RMSE below the regional differences, evidencing the learning of the spatial dependencies. This breakthrough paves the way for applications in various vulnerable localities, significantly improving air pollution data accessibility and contributing to environmental justice. Moreover, this work sets the stage for future research endeavours in refining the models and expanding data accessibility using alternative sources.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:115318
Uncontrolled Keywords:Pollution, Environmental Chemistry, Chemistry (miscellaneous), Analytical Chemistry
Publisher:Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)


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