Batch Reinforcement Learning for Smart Home Energy Management

AAAI Conferences

Smart grids enhance power grids by integrating electronic equipment, communication systems and computational tools. In a smart grid, consumers can insert energy into the power grid. We propose a new energy management system (called RLbEMS) that autonomously defines a policy for selling or storing energy surplus in smart homes. This policy is achieved through Batch Reinforcement Learning with historical data about energy prices, energy generation, consumer demand and characteristics of storage systems. In practical problems, RLbEMS has learned good energy selling policies quickly and effectively. We obtained maximum gains of 20.78% and 10.64%, when compared to a Naive-greedy policy, for smart homes located in Brazil and in the USA, respectively. Another important result achieved by RLbEMS was the reduction of about 30% of peak demand, a central desideratum for smart grids.

A machine learning approach for underwater gas leakage detection Machine Learning

Underwater gas reservoirs are used in many situations. In particular, Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) facilities that are currently being developed intend to store greenhouse gases inside geological formations in the deep sea. In these formations, however, the gas might percolate, leaking back to the water and eventually to the atmosphere. The early detection of such leaks is therefore tantamount to any underwater CCS project. In this work, we propose to use Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) and a machine learning approach to design efficient detectors that can signal the presence of a leakage. We use data obtained from simulation experiments off the Brazilian shore, and show that the detection based on classification algorithms achieve good performance. We also propose a smoothing strategy based on Hidden Markov Models in order to incorporate previous knowledge about the probabilities of leakage occurrences.

Aboveground biomass mapping in French Guiana by combining remote sensing, forest inventories and environmental data Machine Learning

Mapping forest aboveground biomass (AGB) has become an important task, particularly for the reporting of carbon stocks and changes. AGB can be mapped using synthetic aperture radar data (SAR) or passive optical data. However, these data are insensitive to high AGB levels (\textgreater{}150 Mg/ha, and \textgreater{}300 Mg/ha for P-band), which are commonly found in tropical forests. Studies have mapped the rough variations in AGB by combining optical and environmental data at regional and global scales. Nevertheless, these maps cannot represent local variations in AGB in tropical forests. In this paper, we hypothesize that the problem of misrepresenting local variations in AGB and AGB estimation with good precision occurs because of both methodological limits (signal saturation or dilution bias) and a lack of adequate calibration data in this range of AGB values. We test this hypothesis by developing a calibrated regression model to predict variations in high AGB values (mean \textgreater{}300 Mg/ha) in French Guiana by a methodological approach for spatial extrapolation with data from the optical geoscience laser altimeter system (GLAS), forest inventories, radar, optics, and environmental variables for spatial inter-and extrapolation. Given their higher point count, GLAS data allow a wider coverage of AGB values. We find that the metrics from GLAS footprints are correlated with field AGB estimations (R 2 =0.54, RMSE=48.3 Mg/ha) with no bias for high values. First, predictive models, including remote-sensing, environmental variables and spatial correlation functions, allow us to obtain "wall-to-wall" AGB maps over French Guiana with an RMSE for the in situ AGB estimates of ~51 Mg/ha and R${}^2$=0.48 at a 1-km grid size. We conclude that a calibrated regression model based on GLAS with dependent environmental data can produce good AGB predictions even for high AGB values if the calibration data fit the AGB range. We also demonstrate that small temporal and spatial mismatches between field data and GLAS footprints are not a problem for regional and global calibrated regression models because field data aim to predict large and deep tendencies in AGB variations from environmental gradients and do not aim to represent high but stochastic and temporally limited variations from forest dynamics. Thus, we advocate including a greater variety of data, even if less precise and shifted, to better represent high AGB values in global models and to improve the fitting of these models for high values.

AI will make War a whole lot more hellish – Machine Learnings


An illegal connection might be detected from the vibrations caused by an outflow where one is not supposed to be… The idea is that [the AI tool] can be used to quickly narrow down the location of any water losses, allowing operators using geophones to pinpoint the exact site. In one case, in Votorantim, a city in São Paulo state, it would have taken the local water company two years to survey its network of pipes using two operators armed with geophones." He says it's situations like that which highlight differences between what is legal in the laws of war and what is morally right -- something that autonomous weapons might not distinguish. "That is one of the concerns that people raise about autonomous weapons is a lack of an ability to feel empathy and to engage in mercy in war. And that if we built these weapons, they would take away a powerful restraint in warfare that humans have."

Robust Optimization for Hybrid MDPs with State-Dependent Noise

AAAI Conferences

Recent advances in solutions to Hybrid MDPs with discrete and continuous state and action spaces have significantly extended the class of MDPs for which exact solutions can be derived, albeit at the expense of a restricted transition noise model. In this paper, we work around limitations of previous solutions by adopting a robust optimization approach in which Nature is allowed to adversarially determine transition noise within pre-specified confidence intervals. This allows one to derive an optimal policy with an arbitrary (user-specified) level of success probability and significantly extends the class of transition noise models for which Hybrid MDPs can be solved. This work also significantly extends results for the related ``chance-constrained'' approach in stochastic hybrid control to accommodate state-dependent noise. We demonstrate our approach working on a variety of hybrid MDPs taken from AI planning, operations research, and control theory, noting that this is the first time robust solutions with strong guarantees over all states have been automatically derived for such problems.