Collaborating Authors


Bayesian Batch Active Learning as Sparse Subset Approximation

Neural Information Processing Systems

Leveraging the wealth of unlabeled data produced in recent years provides great potential for improving supervised models. When the cost of acquiring labels is high, probabilistic active learning methods can be used to greedily select the most informative data points to be labeled. However, for many large-scale problems standard greedy procedures become computationally infeasible and suffer from negligible model change. In this paper, we introduce a novel Bayesian batch active learning approach that mitigates these issues. Our approach is motivated by approximating the complete data posterior of the model parameters. While naive batch construction methods result in correlated queries, our algorithm produces diverse batches that enable efficient active learning at scale. We derive interpretable closed-form solutions akin to existing active learning procedures for linear models, and generalize to arbitrary models using random projections. We demonstrate the benefits of our approach on several large-scale regression and classification tasks.

Forecasting: theory and practice Machine Learning

Forecasting has always been at the forefront of decision making and planning. The uncertainty that surrounds the future is both exciting and challenging, with individuals and organisations seeking to minimise risks and maximise utilities. The large number of forecasting applications calls for a diverse set of forecasting methods to tackle real-life challenges. This article provides a non-systematic review of the theory and the practice of forecasting. We provide an overview of a wide range of theoretical, state-of-the-art models, methods, principles, and approaches to prepare, produce, organise, and evaluate forecasts. We then demonstrate how such theoretical concepts are applied in a variety of real-life contexts. We do not claim that this review is an exhaustive list of methods and applications. However, we wish that our encyclopedic presentation will offer a point of reference for the rich work that has been undertaken over the last decades, with some key insights for the future of forecasting theory and practice. Given its encyclopedic nature, the intended mode of reading is non-linear. We offer cross-references to allow the readers to navigate through the various topics. We complement the theoretical concepts and applications covered by large lists of free or open-source software implementations and publicly-available databases.

How machine learning is used in the building industry today


Last month aec tech invited industry-leading design technologists, data scientists, and machine learning (ML) experts to discuss the applications of machine learning and artificial intelligence in architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) today and towards the future. Machine learning is a branch of AI -- artificial intelligence -- that focuses on using data and algorithms to mimic human learning and improve its accuracy over time. Read below to learn more about our speakers and their work, in addition to a summary of the discussion. Leland Curtis is the former Co-Lead of Computational Design at SmithGroup. Leland implements Machine Learning into his design process through one application of ML called surrogate modeling.

End-to-end deep meta modelling to calibrate and optimize energy consumption and comfort Artificial Intelligence

In this paper, we propose a new end-to-end methodology to optimize the energy performance as well as comfort and air quality in large buildings without any renovation work. We introduce a metamodel based on recurrent neural networks and trained to predict the behavior of a general class of buildings using a database sampled from a simulation program. This metamodel is then deployed in different frameworks and its parameters are calibrated using the specific data of two real buildings. Parameters are estimated by comparing the predictions of the metamodel with real data obtained from sensors using the CMA-ES algorithm, a derivative free optimization procedure. Then, energy consumptions are optimized while maintaining a target thermal comfort and air quality, using the NSGA-II multi-objective optimization procedure. The numerical experiments illustrate how this metamodel ensures a significant gain in energy efficiency, up to almost 10%, while being computationally much more appealing than numerical models and flexible enough to be adapted to several types of buildings.

Early-Phase Performance-Driven Design using Generative Models Artificial Intelligence

Current performance-driven building design methods are not widely adopted outside the research field for several reasons that make them difficult to integrate into a typical design process. In the early design phase, in particular, the time-intensity and the cognitive load associated with optimization and form parametrization are incompatible with design exploration, which requires quick iteration. This research introduces a novel method for performance-driven geometry generation that can afford interaction directly in the 3d modeling environment, eliminating the need for explicit parametrization, and is multiple orders faster than the equivalent form optimization. The method uses Machine Learning techniques to train a generative model offline. The generative model learns a distribution of optimal performing geometries and their simulation contexts based on a dataset that addresses the performance(s) of interest. By navigating the generative model's latent space, geometries with the desired characteristics can be quickly generated. A case study is presented, demonstrating the generation of a synthetic dataset and the use of a Variational Autoencoder (VAE) as a generative model for geometries with optimal solar gain. The results show that the VAE-generated geometries perform on average at least as well as the optimized ones, suggesting that the introduced method shows a feasible path towards more intuitive and interactive early-phase performance-driven design assistance.

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.

Lazy caterer jigsaw puzzles: Models, properties, and a mechanical system-based solver Artificial Intelligence

Jigsaw puzzle solving, the problem of constructing a coherent whole from a set of non-overlapping unordered fragments, is fundamental to numerous applications, and yet most of the literature has focused thus far on less realistic puzzles whose pieces are identical squares. Here we formalize a new type of jigsaw puzzle where the pieces are general convex polygons generated by cutting through a global polygonal shape with an arbitrary number of straight cuts, a generation model inspired by the celebrated Lazy caterer's sequence. We analyze the theoretical properties of such puzzles, including the inherent challenges in solving them once pieces are contaminated with geometrical noise. To cope with such difficulties and obtain tractable solutions, we abstract the problem as a multi-body spring-mass dynamical system endowed with hierarchical loop constraints and a layered reconstruction process. We define evaluation metrics and present experimental results to indicate that such puzzles are solvable completely automatically.

End-to-end deep metamodeling to calibrate and optimize energy loads Machine Learning

In this paper, we propose a new end-to-end methodology to optimize the energy performance and the comfort, air quality and hygiene of large buildings. A metamodel based on a Transformer network is introduced and trained using a dataset sampled with a simulation program. Then, a few physical parameters and the building management system settings of this metamodel are calibrated using the CMA-ES optimization algorithm and real data obtained from sensors. Finally, the optimal settings to minimize the energy loads while maintaining a target thermal comfort and air quality are obtained using a multi-objective optimization procedure. The numerical experiments illustrate how this metamodel ensures a significant gain in energy efficiency while being computationally much more appealing than models requiring a huge number of physical parameters to be estimated.

Learning to simulate and design for structural engineering Machine Learning

In the architecture and construction industries, structural design for large buildings has always been laborious, time-consuming, and difficult to optimize. It is an iterative process that involves two steps: analyzing the current structural design by a slow and computationally expensive simulation, and then manually revising the design based on professional experience and rules. In this work, we propose an end-to-end learning pipeline to solve the size design optimization problem, which is to design the optimal cross-sections for columns and beams, given the design objectives and building code as constraints. We pre-train a graph neural network as a surrogate model to not only replace the structural simulation for speed but also use its differentiable nature to provide gradient signals to the other graph neural network for size optimization. Our results show that the pre-trained surrogate model can predict simulation results accurately, and the trained optimization model demonstrates the capability of designing convincing cross-section designs for buildings under various scenarios.

Safe Contextual Bayesian Optimization for Sustainable Room Temperature PID Control Tuning Machine Learning

We tune one of the most common heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) control loops, namely the temperature control of a room. For economical and environmental reasons, it is of prime importance to optimize the performance of this system. Buildings account from 20 to 40% of a country energy consumption, and almost 50% of it comes from HVAC systems. Scenario projections predict a 30% decrease in heating consumption by 2050 due to efficiency increase. Advanced control techniques can improve performance; however, the proportional-integral-derivative (PID) control is typically used due to its simplicity and overall performance. We use Safe Contextual Bayesian Optimization to optimize the PID parameters without human intervention. We reduce costs by 32% compared to the current PID controller setting while assuring safety and comfort to people in the room. The results of this work have an immediate impact on the room control loop performances and its related commissioning costs. Furthermore, this successful attempt paves the way for further use at different levels of HVAC systems, with promising energy, operational, and commissioning costs savings, and it is a practical demonstration of the positive effects that Artificial Intelligence can have on environmental sustainability.