Policy-based Reinforcement learning control for window opening and closing in an office building

University essay from Högskolan Dalarna/Mikrodataanalys; Högskolan Dalarna/Mikrodataanalys

Abstract: The level of indoor comfort can highly be influenced by window opening and closing behavior of the occupant in an office building. It will not only affect the comfort level but also affects the energy consumption, if not properly managed. This occupant behavior is not easy to predict and control in conventional way. Nowadays, to call a system smart it must learn user behavior, as it gives valuable information to the controlling system. To make an efficient way of controlling a window, we propose RL (Reinforcement Learning) in our thesis which should be able to learn user behavior and maintain optimal indoor climate. This model free nature of RL gives the flexibility in developing an intelligent control system in a simpler way, compared to that of the conventional techniques. Data in our thesis is taken from an office building in Beijing. There has been implementation of Value-based Reinforcement learning before for controlling the window, but here in this thesis we are applying policy-based RL (REINFORCE algorithm) and also compare our results with value-based (Q-learning) and there by getting a better idea, which suits better for the task that we have in our hand and also to explore how they behave. Based on our work it is found that policy based RL provides a great trade-off in maintaining optimal indoor temperature and learning occupant’s behavior, which is important for a system to be called smart.

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