Deep Reinforcement Learning for Temperature Control in Buildings and Adversarial Attacks

University essay from KTH/Skolan för elektroteknik och datavetenskap (EECS)

Abstract: Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems in buildings are energy consuming and traditional methods used for building control results in energy losses. The methods cannot account for non-linear dependencies in the thermal behaviour. Deep Reinforcement Learning (DRL) is a powerful method for reaching optimal control in many different control environments. DRL utilizes neural networks to approximate the optimal actions to take given that the system is in a given state. Therefore, DRL is a promising method for building control and this fact is highlighted by several studies. However, neural network polices are known to be vulnerable to adversarial attacks, which are small, indistinguishable changes to the input, which make the network choose a sub-optimal action. Two of the main approaches to attack DRL policies are: (1) the Fast Gradient Sign Method, which uses the gradients of the control agent’s network to conduct the attack; (2) to train a a DRL-agent with the goal to minimize performance of control agents. The aim of this thesis is to investigate different strategies for solving the building control problem with DRL using the building simulator IDA ICE. This thesis is also going to use the concept of adversarial machine learning by applying the attacks on the agents controlling the temperature inside the building. We first built a DRL architecture to learn how to efficiently control temperature in a building. Experiments demonstrate that exploration of the agent plays a crucial role in the training of the building control agent, and one needs to fine-tune the exploration strategy in order to achieve satisfactory performance. Finally, we tested the susceptibility of the trained DRL controllers to adversarial attacks. These tests showed, on average, that attacks trained using DRL methods have a larger impact on building control than those using FGSM, while random perturbation have almost null impact. 

  AT THIS PAGE YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE WHOLE ESSAY. (follow the link to the next page)