Identifying predictive multi-dimensional time series motifs: An application to severe weather prediction

Amy McGovern, Derek H. Rosendahl, Rodger A. Brown, Kelvin K. Droegemeier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We introduce an efficient approach to mining multi-dimensional temporal streams of real-world data for ordered temporal motifs that can be used for prediction. Since many of the dimensions of the data are known or suspected to be irrelevant, our approach first identifies the salient dimensions of the data, then the key temporal motifs within each dimension, and finally the temporal ordering of the motifs necessary for prediction. For the prediction element, the data are assumed to be labeled. We tested the approach on two real-world data sets. To verify the generality of the approach, we validated the application on several subjects from the CMU Motion Capture database. Our main application uses several hundred numerically simulated supercell thunderstorms where the goal is to identify the most important features and feature interrelationships which herald the development of strong rotation in the lowest altitudes of a storm. We identified sets of precursors, in the form of meteorological quantities reaching extreme values in a particular temporal sequence, unique to storms producing strong low-altitude rotation. The eventual goal is to use this knowledge for future severe weather detection and prediction algorithms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)232-258
Number of pages27
JournalData Mining and Knowledge Discovery
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Multi-dimensional
  • Severe weather
  • Temporal data mining

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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