Many nonlinear models have been proposed to forecast groundwater level. However, the evidence of chaos in groundwater levels in landslide has not been explored. In addition, linear correlation analyses are used to determine the input and output variables for the nonlinear models. Linear correlation analyses are unable to capture the nonlinear relationships between the input and output variables. This paper proposes to use chaos theory to select the input and output variables for nonlinear models. The nonlinear model is constructed based on support vector machine (SVM). The parameters of SVM are obtained by particle swarm optimization (PSO). The proposed PSO-SVM model based on chaos theory (chaotic PSO-SVM) is applied to predict the daily groundwater levels in Huayuan landslide and the weekly, monthly groundwater levels in Baijiabao landslide in the Three Gorges Reservoir Area in China. The results show that there are chaos characteristics in the groundwater levels. The linear correlation analysis based PSO-SVM (linear PSO-SVM) and chaos theory-based back-propagation neural network (chaotic BPNN) are also applied for the purpose of comparison. The results show that the chaotic PSO-SVM model has higher prediction accuracy than the linear PSO-SVM and chaotic BPNN models for the test data considered.

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