TIP-Air: Tracking Pollution Transfer for Accurate Air Quality Prediction

Yun Cheng, Olga Saukh, Lothar Thiele

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Air quality is of vital importance to human health. Accurately predicting air quality, especially its sudden changes, is highly valuable for citizens and governments to make personal and local decisions, design intelligent policies and control pollution at minimal cost. However, none of the existing methods achieves sufficient prediction accuracy for time intervals of sudden pollution change due to inability of existing models to take into account pollution propagation between different areas caused by air mass movement. For the first time, we consider pollution transfer in the context of short-term air quality prediction and propose to use air flow trajectory data, widely used in environmental sciences, to represent pollution transfer patterns between different locations. By learning trajectory representations, measurement location embedding vectors, and inter-relationships between local weather at relevant locations, we propose a new attention based seq2seq model to track pollution propagation for accurate air quality prediction. We evaluate our model on datasets from Beijing area and compare the results to several state-of-the-art baselines. Experiments show that the proposed approach can successfully capture pollution transfer patterns between different sites in the area. Our model outperforms all the baselines and decreases prediction errors by 9.6% to 22.4%. The method allows interpreting prediction results visually and analytically.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sept 2021
EventCombining Physical and Data-Driven Knowledge in Ubiquitous Computing: UbiComp Workshop '21 - Virtuell
Duration: 21 Sept 202126 Sept 2021


WorkshopCombining Physical and Data-Driven Knowledge in Ubiquitous Computing
Abbreviated titleCPD '21
Internet address


  • air flow trajectory
  • air quality prediction
  • attention mechanism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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