Assessing the representational accuracy of data-driven models: The case of the effect of urban green infrastructure on temperature

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Data-driven modelling with machine learning (ML) is already being used for predictions in environmental science. However, it is less clear to what extent data-driven models that successfully predict a phenomenon are representationally accurate and thus increase our understanding of the phenomenon. Besides empirical accuracy, we propose three criteria to indirectly assess the relationships learned by the ML algorithms and how they relate to a phenomenon under investigation: first, consistency of the outcomes with background knowledge;...
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