Image Synthesis for Solar Flare Prediction

Elad Amar, Ohad Ben-Shahar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Solar flare prediction is a topic of interest to many researchers owing to the potential of solar flares to affect various technological systems, both terrestrial and in orbit. In recent years, the forecasting task has become progressively more reliant on data-driven computations and machine-learning algorithms. Although these efforts have improved solar flare predictions, they still falter in doing so for large solar flares, in particular under operational conditions, since large-flare data are very scarce and labeled data are heavily imbalanced. In this work, we seek to address this fundamental issue and present a scheme for generating synthetic magnetograms to reduce the imbalance in the data. Our method consists of (1) synthetic oversampling of line-of-sight magnetograms using Gaussian mixture model representation, followed by (2) a global optimization technique to ensure consistency of both physical features and flare precursors, and (3) the mapping of the generated representations to realistic magnetogram images using deep generative models. We show that these synthetically generated data indeed improve the capacity of solar flare prediction models and that, when tested on such a state-of-the-art model, it significantly enhances its forecasting performance, achieving an F1-score as high as 0.43 ± 0.08 and a true skill statistic of 0.64 ± 0.10 for X-class flares in the 24 hr operational solar flare data split.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number29
JournalAstrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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