EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Enhancing environmental sensor data quality control with graph neural networks

Elżbieta Lasota1, Julius Polz1, Christian Chwala1, Lennart Schmidt2,3, Peter Lünenschloß2,3, David Schäfer2,3, and Jan Bumberger2
Elżbieta Lasota et al.
  • 1Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research Atmospheric Environmental Research, Germany
  • 2Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Research Data Management (RDM), Leipzig, Germany
  • 3Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Department of Monitoring and Exploration Technologies, Leipzig, Germany

The rapidly growing number of low-cost environmental sensors and data from opportunistic sensors constantly advances the quality as well as the spatial and temporal resolution of weather and climate models. However, it also leads to the need for effective tools to ensure the quality of collected data.

Time series quality control (QC) from multiple spatial, irregularly distributed sensors is a challenging task, as it requires the simultaneous integration and analysis of observations from sparse neighboring sensors and consecutive time steps. Manual QC is very often time- and labour- expensive and requires expert knowledge, which introduces subjectivity and limits reproducibility. Therefore, automatic, accurate, and robust QC solutions are in high demand, where among them one can distinguish machine learning techniques. 

In this study, we present a novel approach for the quality control of time series data from multiple spatial, irregularly distributed sensors using graph neural networks (GNNs). Although we applied our method to commercial microwave link attenuation data collected from a network in Germany between April and October 2021, our solution aims to be generic with respect to the number and type of sensors, The proposed approach involves the use of an autoencoder architecture, where the GNN is used to model the spatial relationships between the sensors, allowing for the incorporation of contextual information in the quality control process. 

While our model shows promising results in initial tests, further research is needed to fully evaluate its effectiveness and to demonstrate its potential in a wider range of environmental applications. Eventually, our solution will allow us to further foster the observational basis of our understanding of the natural environment.

How to cite: Lasota, E., Polz, J., Chwala, C., Schmidt, L., Lünenschloß, P., Schäfer, D., and Bumberger, J.: Enhancing environmental sensor data quality control with graph neural networks, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-9434,, 2023.