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  • Fujitsu Develops AI Disaster Mitigation Technology to Predict River Flooding with Limited Data

    Published on August 18, 2019

    TOKYO : Fujitsu Limited and Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. today announced the development of a technology that draws on mathematical models built with limited data on rainfall and water levels to create flooding predictions for rivers. The solution leverages Fujitsu Human Centric AI Zinrai, a comprehensive portfolio that encompasses Fujitsu’s wide range of AI technologies and techniques, and utilizes a model that incorporates insights from hydrology to produce an AI that achieves predictions with greater precision.

    The new technology proves effective even for smaller rivers with limited measurement data or for areas where water level sensors have been newly installed and have yet to accumulate sufficient data. These predictions will offer authorities a vital tool for delivering faster response times and mitigating flood damage in the event of a natural disaster, including in dispatching personnel to affected areas and supporting appropriate decision-making in issuing evacuation advisories.

    Fujitsu and Fujitsu Laboratories will continue to work to further perfect this technology through a field trial with local governments across Japan with the aim of delivering a commercial solution during fiscal 2019. With the development of this solution, Fujitsu demonstrates how this and other AI technologies will play an important role in bolstering its efforts to combat the effects of climate change, and contribute to the achievement of greater sustainability in society.

    Background

    In recent years, local governments across Japan have grappled with the challenges of managing rivers that cause serious flood damage in the wake of frequent, highly localized heavy rain events. Smaller rivers flowing through urban areas in particular often experience sudden water level rises due to the impact of unpredictable, yet powerful rainstorms and typhoons. Year after year, the risk of significant flood damage occurring very rapidly represents a sporadic, yet increasingly severe threat, underlining an urgent need for enhanced flooding countermeasures.

    As part of these countermeasures, water level predictions have been conducted for large rivers designated as at risk of flooding. For smaller rivers or areas where water level sensors have been newly installed, however, making accurate predictions has proven difficult until now due to a lack of sufficient water level data and the latest flow rate observation results.

    To address this, Fujitsu and Fujitsu Laboratories have developed a new technology that accurately predicts water levels even for rivers with limited measurement data, empowering disaster prevention personnel to take early preemptive action to mitigate damage.

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