This paper demonstrates that continual relearning of control policies using incremental deep reinforcement learning (RL) can improve policy learning for non-stationary processes. This approach has been demonstrated in a data-driven “smart building environment” that we use as a test-bed for developing HVAC controllers for reducing energy consumption of large buildings on our university campus. The non-stationarity in building operations and weather patterns makes it imperative to develop control strategies that are adaptive to changing conditions. On-policy RL algorithms, such as Proximal Policy Optimization (PPO) represent an approach for addressing this non-stationarity, but they cannot be applied to safety-critical systems. As an alternative, we develop an incremental RL technique that simultaneously reduces building energy consumption without sacrificing overall comfort. We compare the performance of our incremental RL controller to that of a static RL controller that does not implement the relearning function. The performance of the static controller diminishes significantly over time, but the relearning controller adjusts to changing conditions while ensuring comfort and optimal energy performance.
How to Cite
Smart Buildings, Reinforcement Learning, Energy Optimization, Control, LSTM
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
The Prognostic and Health Management Society advocates open-access to scientific data and uses a Creative Commons license for publishing and distributing any papers. A Creative Commons license does not relinquish the author’s copyright; rather it allows them to share some of their rights with any member of the public under certain conditions whilst enjoying full legal protection. By submitting an article to the International Conference of the Prognostics and Health Management Society, the authors agree to be bound by the associated terms and conditions including the following:
As the author, you retain the copyright to your Work. By submitting your Work, you are granting anybody the right to copy, distribute and transmit your Work and to adapt your Work with proper attribution under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States license. You assign rights to the Prognostics and Health Management Society to publish and disseminate your Work through electronic and print media if it is accepted for publication. A license note citing the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License as shown below needs to be placed in the footnote on the first page of the article.
First Author et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.