Side weirs have many possible applications in the field of hydraulic engineering. They are also considered an important structure in hydro systems. In this study, the support vector machine (SVM) technique was employed to predict the side weir discharge coefficient. The performance of SVM was compared with other types of soft computing techniques such as artificial neural networks (ANN) and adaptive neuro fuzzy inference systems (ANFIS). While ANN and ANFIS models provided a good prediction performance, the SVM model with a radial basis function kernel function outperforms them. The best SVM model was developed with a gamma coefficient and epsilon of 15 and 0.3, respectively. The SVM yielded a coefficient of determination (R2) equal to 0.96 and 0.93 for the training and testing data. Sensitivity analyses of the ANN, ANFIS and SVM models showed that the Froude number and ratio of weir length to the flow depth upstream of the weir are the most effective parameters for the prediction of the discharge coefficient.

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