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21 Rainfall-Runoff Modeling Based on Genetic Programming

Part 2. Hydroinformatics

  1. Vladan Babovic,
  2. Maarten Keijzer

Published Online: 15 APR 2006

DOI: 10.1002/0470848944.hsa017

Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences

Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences

How to Cite

Babovic, V. and Keijzer, M. 2006. Rainfall-Runoff Modeling Based on Genetic Programming. Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences. 2:21.

Author Information

  1. DHI Water & Environment, Agern Alle, Hørsholm, Denmark

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 APR 2006


The runoff formation process is believed to be highly nonlinear, time varying, spatially distributed, and not easily described by simple models. Considerable time and effort has been directed to model this process, and many hydrologic models have been built specifically for this purpose. All of them, however, require significant amounts of data for their respective calibration and validation. Using physical models raises issues of collecting the appropriate data with sufficient accuracy. In most cases, it is difficult to collect all the data necessary for such a model.

By using data-driven models such as genetic programming (GP), one can attempt to model runoff on the basis of available hydrometeorological data. This work addresses the use of GP for creating rainfall-runoff (R-R) models both on the basis of data alone, as well as in combination with conceptual models (i.e taking advantage of knowledge about the problem domain).


  • genetic programming;
  • symbolic regression;
  • empirical equations;
  • rainfall-runoff