IJERPH, Vol. 19, Pages 15926: Examining the Relationship between Land Use/Land Cover (LULC) and Land Surface Temperature (LST) Using Explainable Artificial Intelligence (XAI) Models: A Case Study of Seoul, South Korea (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
Understanding the relationship between land use/land cover (LULC) and land surface temperature (LST) has long been an area of interest in urban and environmental study fields. To examine this, existing studies have utilized both white-box and black-box approaches, including regression, decision tree, and artificial intelligence models. To overcome the limitations of previous models, this study adopted the explainable artificial intelligence (XAI) approach in examining the relationships between LULC and LST. By integrating the XGBoost and SHAP model, we developed the LST prediction model in Seoul and estimated the LST reduction effects after specific LULC changes. Results showed that the prediction accuracy of LST was maximized when landscape, topographic, and LULC features within a 150 m buffer radius were adopted as independent variables. Specifically, the existence of surrounding built-up and vegetation areas were found to be the most influencing factors in explaining LST. In this study, after the LULC changes from expressway to green areas, approximately 1.5 °C of decreasing LST was predicted. The findings of our study can be utilized for assessing and monitoring the thermal environmental impact of urban planning and projects. Also, this study can contribute to determining the priorities of different policy measures for improving the thermal environment.