Hurricanes were mild this year, a boon to Gulf states many of which are still recovering from Katrina, but at least one group is anxious to see another biggy--not to cause devastation, but to prevent it. A new power outage prediction model has been financed by Gulf state utilities to advise it on how to shorten power outages during the next storm. Look for shorter power outages the next time a hurricane hits the Gulf. R.C.J.
The machine learning algorithm described here combined the talents at Johns Hopkins and Texas A&M to digest the facts about the last five hurricanes, in hopes of doing better next time. And when next time comes, it will be ready to compare its predictions to the real damage caused, and improve its predictive power next time. There are some interesting details about how they did it, so check if you're interested in keeping the lights on, check out this attempt to keep homes on-the-grid.