SAVES: A Sustainable Multiagent Application to Conserve Building Energy Considering Occupants


Jun-young Kwak, Pradeep Varakantham, Rajiv Maheswaran, Milind Tambe, Farrokh Jazizadeh, Geoffrey Kavulya, Laura Klein, Burcin Becerik-Gerber, Timothy Hayes, and Wendy Wood. 2012. “SAVES: A Sustainable Multiagent Application to Conserve Building Energy Considering Occupants .” In International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS) .


This paper describes an innovative multiagent system called SAVES with the goal of conserving energy in commercial buildings. We specifically focus on an application to be deployed in an existing university building that provides several key novelties: (i) jointly performed with the university facility management team, SAVES is based on actual occupant preferences and schedules, actual energy consumption and loss data, real sensors and hand-held devices, etc.; (ii) it addresses novel scenarios that require negotiations with groups of building occupants to conserve energy; (iii) it focuses on a non-residential building, where human occupants do not have a direct financial incentive in saving energy and thus requires a different mechanism to effectively motivate occupants; and (iv) SAVES uses a novel algorithm for generating optimal MDP policies that explicitly consider multiple criteria optimization (energy and personal comfort) as well as uncertainty over occupant preferences when negotiating energy reduction – this combination of challenges has not been considered in previous MDP algorithms. In a validated simulation testbed, we show that SAVES substantially reduces the overall energy consumption compared to the existing control method while achieving comparable average satisfaction levels for occupants. As a real-world test, we provide results of a trial study where SAVES is shown to lead occupants to conserve energy in real buildings.
See also: 2012