Recent advancements in neuro-fuzzy models (NFMs) have made possible the implementation of dynamic rule base systems. This is in comparison with static applications commonly seen in global NFMs such as the Adaptive-Network-Based Fuzzy Inference System (ANFIS) model widely used in hydrological modeling. This study underlines key differences between local and global NFMs with an emphasis on rule base dynamics, in the context of two common flow forecast applications. A global NFM, ANFIS, and two local NFMs, Dynamic Evolving Neural-Fuzzy Inference System (DENFIS) and Generic Self-Evolving Takagi-Sugeno-Kang (GSETSK), were tested. Results from all NFMs compared favorably when benchmarked against physically based models. Rainfall–runoff modeling is a complex process which benefits from the advanced rule generation and pruning mechanisms in GSETSK, resulting in a more compact rule base. Although ANFIS resulted in the same number of rules, this came about at the expense of having the need for a large training dataset. All NFMs generated a similar number of rules for the river routing application, although local NFMs yielded better results for forecasts at longer lead times. This is attributed to the fact that the routing procedure is less complex and can be adequately modeled by static NFMs.

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