In this manuscript, we provide a structured and comprehensive overview of techniques to integrate machine learning with physics-based modeling. First, we provide a summary of application areas for which these approaches have been applied. Then, we describe classes of methodologies used to construct physics-guided machine learning models and hybrid physics-machine learning frameworks from a machine learning standpoint. With this foundation, we then provide a systematic organization of these existing techniques and discuss ideas for future research.
This paper proposes a physics-guided recurrent neural network model (PGRNN) that combines RNNs and physics-based models to leverage their complementary strengths and improve the modeling of physical processes. Specifically, we show that a PGRNN can improve prediction accuracy over that of physical models, while generating outputs consistent with physical laws, and achieving good generalizability. Standard RNNs, even when producing superior prediction accuracy, often produce physically inconsistent results and lack generalizability. We further enhance this approach by using a pre-training method that leverages the simulated data from a physics-based model to address the scarcity of observed data. The PGRNN has the flexibility to incorporate additional physical constraints and we incorporate a density-depth relationship. Both enhancements further improve PGRNN performance. Although we present and evaluate this methodology in the context of modeling the dynamics of temperature in lakes, it is applicable more widely to a range of scientific and engineering disciplines where mechanistic (also known as process-based) models are used, e.g., power engineering, climate science, materials science, computational chemistry, and biomedicine.
The large thermal capacity of buildings enables heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems to be exploited as demand response (DR) resources. Optimal DR of HVAC units is challenging, particularly for multi-zone buildings, because this requires detailed physics-based models of zonal temperature variations for HVAC system operation and building thermal conditions. This paper proposes a new strategy for optimal DR of an HVAC system in a multi-zone building, based on supervised learning (SL). Artificial neural networks (ANNs) are trained with data obtained under normal building operating conditions. The ANNs are replicated using piecewise linear equations, which are explicitly integrated into an optimal scheduling problem for price-based DR. The optimization problem is solved for various electricity prices and building thermal conditions. The solutions are further used to train a deep neural network (DNN) to directly determine the optimal DR schedule, referred to here as supervised-learning-aided meta-prediction (SLAMP). Case studies are performed using three different methods: explicit ANN replication (EAR), SLAMP, and physics-based modeling. The case study results verify the effectiveness of the proposed SL-based strategy, in terms of both practical applicability and computational time, while also ensuring the thermal comfort of occupants and cost-effective operation of the HVAC system.
Thermal dynamics modeling has been a critical issue in building heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, which can significantly affect the control and maintenance strategies. Due to the uniqueness of each specific building, traditional thermal dynamics modeling approaches heavily depending on physics knowledge cannot generalize well. This study proposes a deep supervised domain adaptation (DSDA) method for thermal dynamics modeling of building indoor temperature evolution and energy consumption. A long short term memory network based Sequence to Sequence scheme is pre-trained based on a large amount of data collected from a building and then adapted to another building which has a limited amount of data by applying the model fine-tuning. We use four publicly available datasets: SML and AHU for temperature evolution, long-term datasets from two different commercial buildings, termed as Building 1 and Building 2 for energy consumption. We show that the deep supervised domain adaptation is effective to adapt the pre-trained model from one building to another building and has better predictive performance than learning from scratch with only a limited amount of data.
Modeling buildings' heat dynamics is a complex process which depends on various factors including weather, building thermal capacity, insulation preservation, and residents' behavior. Gray-box models offer a causal inference of those dynamics expressed in few parameters specific to built environments. These parameters can provide compelling insights into the characteristics of building artifacts and have various applications such as forecasting HVAC usage, indoor temperature control monitoring of built environments, etc. In this paper, we present a systematic study of modeling buildings' thermal characteristics and thus derive the parameters of built conditions with a Bayesian approach. We build a Bayesian state-space model that can adapt and incorporate buildings' thermal equations and propose a generalized solution that can easily adapt prior knowledge regarding the parameters. We show that a faster approximate approach using variational inference for parameter estimation can provide similar parameters as that of a more time-consuming Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) approach. We perform extensive evaluations on two datasets to understand the generative process and show that the Bayesian approach is more interpretable. We further study the effects of prior selection for the model parameters and transfer learning, where we learn parameters from one season and use them to fit the model in the other. We perform extensive evaluations on controlled and real data traces to enumerate buildings' parameter within a 95% credible interval.