A Deep Learning-based approach for forecasting off-gas production and consumption in the blast furnace

Neural Comput Appl. 2022;34(2):911-923. doi: 10.1007/s00521-021-05984-x. Epub 2021 Apr 16.


This article presents the application of a recent neural network topology known as the deep echo state network to the prediction and modeling of strongly nonlinear systems typical of the process industry. The article analyzes the results by introducing a comparison with one of the most common and efficient topologies, the long short-term memories, in order to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of a reservoir computing approach compared to one currently considered as a standard of recurrent neural network. As benchmark application, two specific processes common in the integrated steelworks are selected, with the purpose of forecasting the future energy exchanges and transformations. The procedures of training, validation and test are based on data analysis, outlier detection and reconciliation and variable selection starting from real field industrial data. The analysis of results shows the effectiveness of deep echo state networks and their strong forecasting capabilities with respect to standard recurrent methodologies both in terms of training procedures and accuracy.

Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s00521-021-05984-x.

Keywords: Blast furnace gas management; Deep echo state networks; Forecasting; Industrial application; Long short-term memories; Recurrent neural networks.