Nature Scientific Reports

Quantizing Reconstruction Losses for Improving Weather Data Synthesis

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The stochastic synthesis of extreme, rare climate scenarios is vital for risk and resilience models aware of climate change, directly impacting society in different sectors. However, creating high-quality variations of under-represented samples remains a challenge for several generative models. This paper investigates quantizing reconstruction losses for helping variational autoencoders (VAE) better synthesize extreme weather fields from conventional historical training sets. Building on the classical VAE formulation using reconstruction and latent space regularization losses, we propose various histogram-based penalties to the reconstruction loss that explicitly reinforces the model to synthesize under-represented values better. We evaluate our work using precipitation weather fields, where models usually strive to synthesize well extreme precipitation samples. We demonstrate that bringing histogram awareness to the reconstruction loss improves standard VAE performance substantially, especially for extreme weather events.