Collaborating Authors


Model-predictive control and reinforcement learning in multi-energy system case studies Artificial Intelligence

Model-predictive-control (MPC) offers an optimal control technique to establish and ensure that the total operation cost of multi-energy systems remains at a minimum while fulfilling all system constraints. However, this method presumes an adequate model of the underlying system dynamics, which is prone to modelling errors and is not necessarily adaptive. This has an associated initial and ongoing project-specific engineering cost. In this paper, we present an on- and off-policy multi-objective reinforcement learning (RL) approach, that does not assume a model a priori, benchmarking this against a linear MPC (LMPC - to reflect current practice, though non-linear MPC performs better) - both derived from the general optimal control problem, highlighting their differences and similarities. In a simple multi-energy system (MES) configuration case study, we show that a twin delayed deep deterministic policy gradient (TD3) RL agent offers potential to match and outperform the perfect foresight LMPC benchmark (101.5%). This while the realistic LMPC, i.e. imperfect predictions, only achieves 98%. While in a more complex MES system configuration, the RL agent's performance is generally lower (94.6%), yet still better than the realistic LMPC (88.9%). In both case studies, the RL agents outperformed the realistic LMPC after a training period of 2 years using quarterly interactions with the environment. We conclude that reinforcement learning is a viable optimal control technique for multi-energy systems given adequate constraint handling and pre-training, to avoid unsafe interactions and long training periods, as is proposed in fundamental future work.

Randomized Algorithms for Scientific Computing (RASC) Artificial Intelligence

Randomized algorithms have propelled advances in artificial intelligence and represent a foundational research area in advancing AI for Science. Future advancements in DOE Office of Science priority areas such as climate science, astrophysics, fusion, advanced materials, combustion, and quantum computing all require randomized algorithms for surmounting challenges of complexity, robustness, and scalability. This report summarizes the outcomes of that workshop, "Randomized Algorithms for Scientific Computing (RASC)," held virtually across four days in December 2020 and January 2021.

What Makes an Effective Scalarising Function for Multi-Objective Bayesian Optimisation? Machine Learning

Performing multi-objective Bayesian optimisation by scalarising the objectives avoids the computation of expensive multi-dimensional integral-based acquisition functions, instead of allowing one-dimensional standard acquisition functions\textemdash such as Expected Improvement\textemdash to be applied. Here, two infill criteria based on hypervolume improvement\textemdash one recently introduced and one novel\textemdash are compared with the multi-surrogate Expected Hypervolume Improvement. The reasons for the disparities in these methods' effectiveness in maximising the hypervolume of the acquired Pareto Front are investigated. In addition, the effect of the surrogate model mean function on exploration and exploitation is examined: careful choice of data normalisation is shown to be preferable to the exploration parameter commonly used with the Expected Improvement acquisition function. Finally, the effectiveness of all the methodological improvements defined here is demonstrated on a real-world problem: the optimisation of a wind turbine blade aerofoil for both aerodynamic performance and structural stiffness. With effective scalarisation, Bayesian optimisation finds a large number of new aerofoil shapes that strongly dominate standard designs.

Intelligent Building Control Systems for Thermal Comfort and Energy-Efficiency: A Systematic Review of Artificial Intelligence-Assisted Techniques Artificial Intelligence

Building operations represent a significant percentage of the total primary energy consumed in most countries due to the proliferation of Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) installations in response to the growing demand for improved thermal comfort. Reducing the associated energy consumption while maintaining comfortable conditions in buildings are conflicting objectives and represent a typical optimization problem that requires intelligent system design. Over the last decade, different methodologies based on the Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques have been deployed to find the sweet spot between energy use in HVAC systems and suitable indoor comfort levels to the occupants. This paper performs a comprehensive and an in-depth systematic review of AI-based techniques used for building control systems by assessing the outputs of these techniques, and their implementations in the reviewed works, as well as investigating their abilities to improve the energy-efficiency, while maintaining thermal comfort conditions. This enables a holistic view of (1) the complexities of delivering thermal comfort to users inside buildings in an energy-efficient way, and (2) the associated bibliographic material to assist researchers and experts in the field in tackling such a challenge. Among the 20 AI tools developed for both energy consumption and comfort control, functions such as identification and recognition patterns, optimization, predictive control. Based on the findings of this work, the application of AI technology in building control is a promising area of research and still an ongoing, i.e., the performance of AI-based control is not yet completely satisfactory. This is mainly due in part to the fact that these algorithms usually need a large amount of high-quality real-world data, which is lacking in the building or, more precisely, the energy sector.

A Survey on Semi-parametric Machine Learning Technique for Time Series Forecasting Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has recently shown its capabilities for almost every field of life. Machine Learning, which is a subset of AI, is a `HOT' topic for researchers. Machine Learning outperforms other classical forecasting techniques in almost all-natural applications. It is a crucial part of modern research. As per this statement, Modern Machine Learning algorithms are hungry for big data. Due to the small datasets, the researchers may not prefer to use Machine Learning algorithms. To tackle this issue, the main purpose of this survey is to illustrate, demonstrate related studies for significance of a semi-parametric Machine Learning framework called Grey Machine Learning (GML). This kind of framework is capable of handling large datasets as well as small datasets for time series forecasting likely outcomes. This survey presents a comprehensive overview of the existing semi-parametric machine learning techniques for time series forecasting. In this paper, a primer survey on the GML framework is provided for researchers. To allow an in-depth understanding for the readers, a brief description of Machine Learning, as well as various forms of conventional grey forecasting models are discussed. Moreover, a brief description on the importance of GML framework is presented.

Nature-Inspired Optimization Algorithms: Research Direction and Survey Artificial Intelligence

Nature-inspired algorithms are commonly used for solving the various optimization problems. In past few decades, various researchers have proposed a large number of nature-inspired algorithms. Some of these algorithms have proved to be very efficient as compared to other classical optimization methods. A young researcher attempting to undertake or solve a problem using nature-inspired algorithms is bogged down by a plethora of proposals that exist today. Not every algorithm is suited for all kinds of problem. Some score over others. In this paper, an attempt has been made to summarize various leading research proposals that shall pave way for any new entrant to easily understand the journey so far. Here, we classify the nature-inspired algorithms as natural evolution based, swarm intelligence based, biological based, science based and others. In this survey, widely acknowledged nature-inspired algorithms namely- ACO, ABC, EAM, FA, FPA, GA, GSA, JAYA, PSO, SFLA, TLBO and WCA, have been studied. The purpose of this review is to present an exhaustive analysis of various nature-inspired algorithms based on its source of inspiration, basic operators, control parameters, features, variants and area of application where these algorithms have been successfully applied. It shall also assist in identifying and short listing the methodologies that are best suited for the problem.

Soft robots for ocean exploration and offshore operations: A perspective


Most of the ocean is unknown. Yet we know that the most challenging environments on the planet reside in it. Understanding the ocean in its totality is a key component for the sustainable development of human activities and for the mitigation of climate change, as proclaimed by the United Nations. We are glad to share our perspective about the role of soft robots in ocean exploration and offshore operations at the outset of the ocean decade (2021-2030). In this study of the Soft Systems Group (part of The School of Engineering at The University of Edinburgh), we focus on the two ends of the water column: the abyss and the surface.

Reinforcement Learning for Decision-Making and Control in Power Systems: Tutorial, Review, and Vision Artificial Intelligence

With large-scale integration of renewable generation and ubiquitous distributed energy resources (DERs), modern power systems confront a series of new challenges in operation and control, such as growing complexity, increasing uncertainty, and aggravating volatility. While the upside is that more and more data are available owing to the widely-deployed smart meters, smart sensors, and upgraded communication networks. As a result, data-driven control techniques, especially reinforcement learning (RL), have attracted surging attention in recent years. In this paper, we focus on RL and aim to provide a tutorial on various RL techniques and how they can be applied to the decision-making and control in power systems. In particular, we select three key applications, including frequency regulation, voltage control, and energy management, for illustration, and present the typical ways to model and tackle them with RL methods. We conclude by emphasizing two critical issues in the application of RL, i.e., safety and scalability. Several potential future directions are discussed as well.

Machine Learning Force Fields Machine Learning

In recent years, the use of Machine Learning (ML) in computational chemistry has enabled numerous advances previously out of reach due to the computational complexity of traditional electronic-structure methods. One of the most promising applications is the construction of ML-based force fields (FFs), with the aim to narrow the gap between the accuracy of ab initio methods and the efficiency of classical FFs. The key idea is to learn the statistical relation between chemical structure and potential energy without relying on a preconceived notion of fixed chemical bonds or knowledge about the relevant interactions. Such universal ML approximations are in principle only limited by the quality and quantity of the reference data used to train them. This review gives an overview of applications of ML-FFs and the chemical insights that can be obtained from them. The core concepts underlying ML-FFs are described in detail and a step-by-step guide for constructing and testing them from scratch is given. The text concludes with a discussion of the challenges that remain to be overcome by the next generation of ML-FFs.

Optimal Inspection and Maintenance Planning for Deteriorating Structures through Dynamic Bayesian Networks and Markov Decision Processes Artificial Intelligence

Civil and maritime engineering systems, among others, from bridges to offshore platforms and wind turbines, must be efficiently managed as they are exposed to deterioration mechanisms throughout their operational life, such as fatigue or corrosion. Identifying optimal inspection and maintenance policies demands the solution of a complex sequential decision-making problem under uncertainty, with the main objective of efficiently controlling the risk associated with structural failures. Addressing this complexity, risk-based inspection planning methodologies, supported often by dynamic Bayesian networks, evaluate a set of pre-defined heuristic decision rules to reasonably simplify the decision problem. However, the resulting policies may be compromised by the limited space considered in the definition of the decision rules. Avoiding this limitation, Partially Observable Markov Decision Processes (POMDPs) provide a principled mathematical methodology for stochastic optimal control under uncertain action outcomes and observations, in which the optimal actions are prescribed as a function of the entire, dynamically updated, state probability distribution. In this paper, we combine dynamic Bayesian networks with POMDPs in a joint framework for optimal inspection and maintenance planning, and we provide the formulation for developing both infinite and finite horizon POMDPs in a structural reliability context. The proposed methodology is implemented and tested for the case of a structural component subject to fatigue deterioration, demonstrating the capability of state-of-the-art point-based POMDP solvers for solving the underlying planning optimization problem. Within the numerical experiments, POMDP and heuristic-based policies are thoroughly compared, and results showcase that POMDPs achieve substantially lower costs as compared to their counterparts, even for traditional problem settings.