Machine Learning

, Volume 108, Issue 8–9, pp 1287–1306 | Cite as

Grouped Gaussian processes for solar power prediction

  • Astrid DahlEmail author
  • Edwin V. Bonilla
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Special Issue of the ECML PKDD 2019 Journal Track


We consider multi-task regression models where the observations are assumed to be a linear combination of several latent node functions and weight functions, which are both drawn from Gaussian process priors. Driven by the problem of developing scalable methods for forecasting distributed solar and other renewable power generation, we propose coupled priors over groups of (node or weight) processes to exploit spatial dependence between functions. We estimate forecast models for solar power at multiple distributed sites and ground wind speed at multiple proximate weather stations. Our results show that our approach maintains or improves point-prediction accuracy relative to competing solar benchmarks and improves over wind forecast benchmark models on all measures. Our approach consistently dominates the equivalent model without coupled priors, achieving faster gains in forecast accuracy. At the same time our approach provides better quantification of predictive uncertainties.


Gaussian processes multi-task learning Bayesian nonparametric methods scalable inference solar power prediction 



This research was conducted with support from the Cooperative Research Centre for Low-Carbon Living in collaboration with the University of New South Wales and Solar Analytics Pty Ltd.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Computer Science and EngineeringUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Data61SydneyAustralia

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