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Academic Journal of Computing & Information Science, 2024, 7(6); doi: 10.25236/AJCIS.2024.070605.

Artificial neural network modelling in GIS spatial analysis


Xingxin Yang1, Yongkang Wang2, Ke Lu1, Youquan Wu1, Di Zhao1

Corresponding Author:
Xingxin Yang

1Guilin University of Technology at Nanning, Chongzuo, Guangxi, China

2Guangxi Vocational and Technical College of Communications, Nanning, Guangxi, China


This study aims to explore the application of Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) in spatial analysis of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to improve the accuracy and efficiency of spatial data analysis. By combining ANN with GIS, the analysis focuses on land use and environmental monitoring data, especially the prediction of air quality index (AQI). Traditional GIS methods have limitations in dealing with complex nonlinear and high-dimensional data, while ANN can effectively solve these problems through its self-learning and self-adaptive capabilities. The study performed detailed pre-processing of raw data, including data cleaning, standardisation and normalisation to ensure data quality and consistency. These data, including land use type, surface temperature, AQI and population density, were converted into numerical vectors suitable for ANN model processing, laying the foundation for model training. For model construction, the BP neural network model was chosen, and the network structure and parameters were optimised through experiments. The number of nodes in the input layer is consistent with the feature dimension, the number of nodes in the hidden layer is determined by experiment, and the number of nodes in the output layer is set according to the task requirements. During the training process, a back-propagation algorithm is used to continuously adjust the weights and biases to minimise the mean square error (MSE). To prevent overfitting, the study introduces L2 regularisation and cross-validation methods to improve the generalisation ability of the model. After the training was completed, the predictive performance of the model was evaluated using the test set data, and the results showed that the model exhibited high accuracy in the AQI prediction task, and the predicted values were highly consistent with the actual values, which verified the effectiveness of ANN in GIS spatial analysis. The study also mapped the prediction results onto geospatial space through spatial visualisation techniques to generate AQI distribution maps for each region, which visually demonstrated the spatial distribution of air quality and provided an important reference for environmental management and decision-making. The AQIs of industrial areas and high population density areas are higher, while those of woodlands and waters are lower, which is consistent with the actual geographic features and human activity patterns. Despite the remarkable results of the study, there are still some limitations. Data quality and data quantity have a direct impact on model performance, and future research should consider collecting more diverse and larger data sets. In addition, the ‘black box’ nature of the ANN model makes it difficult to explain its decision-making process, and future research should explore methods that incorporate explanatory techniques to improve the transparency and interpretability of the model.


Geographic Information Systems (GIS); Artificial Neural Networks (ANN); Spatial Analysis; Backpropagation Neural Networks (BP Neural Networks); Air Quality Index (AQI)

Cite This Paper

Xingxin Yang, Yongkang Wang, Ke Lu, Youquan Wu, Di Zhao. Artificial neural network modelling in GIS spatial analysis. Academic Journal of Computing & Information Science (2024), Vol. 7, Issue 6: 32-37. https://doi.org/10.25236/AJCIS.2024.070605.


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