Relationships between Characteristics of the Line-of-sight Magnetic Field and Solar Flare Forecasts

Viacheslav M. Sadykov, Alexander G. Kosovichev

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32 Scopus citations


We analyze the relationship between the flare X-ray peak flux, and characteristics of the polarity inversion line (PIL) and active regions (ARs), derived from line-of-sight (LOS) magnetograms. The PIL detection algorithm based on a magnetogram segmentation procedure is applied for each AR with 1 hr cadence. The PIL and AR characteristics are associated with the AR flare history and divided into flaring and nonflaring cases. Effectiveness of the derived characteristics for flare forecasting is determined by the number of nonflaring cases separated from flaring cases by a certain threshold, and by their Fisher ranking score. The Support Vector Machine (SVM) classifier trained only on the PIL characteristics is used for the flare prediction. We have obtained the following results: (1) the PIL characteristics are more effective than global characteristics of ARs, (2) the highest True Skill Statistics (TSS) values of 0.76 ±0.03 for ≥M1.0 flares and 0.84 ±0.07 for ≥X1.0 flares are obtained using the "Sigmoid" SVM kernel, (3) the TSS scores obtained using only the LOS magnetograms are slightly lower than the scores obtained using vector magnetograms, but significantly better than current expert-based predictions, (4) for prediction of ≥M1.0 class flares 74.4% of all cases, and 91.2% for ≥X1.0 class, can be pre-classified as negative with no significant effect on the results, (5) the inclusion of global AR characteristics does not improve the forecast. The study confirms the unique role of the PIL region characteristics in the flare initiation process, and demonstrates possibilities of flare forecasting using only the LOS magnetograms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number148
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 10 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Sun: activity
  • Sun: flares
  • Sun: magnetic fields
  • methods: statistical


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