Mining Functional and Structural Relationships of Context Variables in Smart-Buildings

Publication Type Thesis
Authors Luis Ignacio Lopera Gonzalez
Title Mining Functional and Structural Relationships of Context Variables in Smart-Buildings
Abstract The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of computational services, devices, and people, which share information with each other. In IoT, inter-system communication is possible and human interaction is not required. IoT devices are penetrating the home and office building environments. According to current estimates, about 35 billion IoT devices will be connected by the year 20212. In the IoT business model, value comes from integrating devices into applications, e.g., home and office automation. In general, an IoT application associates different information sources with actions which can modify the environment, e.g., change the room’s temperature, inform a person, e.g., send an e-mail, or activate other services, e.g., buy milk on-line.
In this thesis, we focus on the commissioning and verification processes of IoT devices used in building automation applications. Within a building’s lifespan, new devices are added, interior spaces are refurbished, and faulty devices are replaced. All of these changes are currently made manually. Furthermore, consider that a context-aware Building Management System (BMS) is an IoT application, which measures direct-context from the building’s sensors to characterize environmental conditions, user locations, and state. Additionally, a BMS combines sensor information to derive inferred-context, such as user activity. Similar to IoT devices, inferred-context instances have to be created manually. As the number of devices and inferred-context instances increases, keeping track of all associations becomes a time-consuming and error-prone task.
The hypothesis of the thesis is that users who interact with the building create use-patterns in the data, which describe functional relations between devices and inferred-context instances, e.g., which desk-movement sensor is used to infer desk-presence and controls which overhead light; additionally, use-patterns can also provide structural relations, e.g., the relative position of spatial sensors. To test the hypothesis, this thesis presents an extension to the new IoT class rule programming paradigm, which simplifies rule creation based on classes. The proposed extension uses a semantic compiler to simplify the device and inferred-context associations. Using direct-context information and template classes, the compiler creates all possible inferredcontext instances. Buildings using context-aware BMSs will have a dynamic response to user behaviour, e.g., required illumination for computer-work is provided by adjusting blinds or increasing the dim setting of overhead ceiling lamps. We propose a rule mining framework to extract use-patterns and find the functional and structural relationships between devices. The rule mining framework uses three stages: (1) event extraction, (2) rule mining, (3) structure creation. The event extraction combines the building’s data into a time-series of device events. Then, in the rule mining stage, rules are mined from the time series, where we use the established algorithm temporal interval tree association rule learner. Additionally, we proposed a rule extraction algorithm for spatial sensor’s data. The algorithm is based on statistical analysis of user transition times between adjacent sensors. We also introduce a new rule extraction algorithm based on increasing belief. In the last stage, structure creation uses the extracted rules to produce device association groups, hierarchical representation of the building, or the relative location of spatial sensors. The proposed algorithms were tested using a year-long installation in a living-lab consisting of a four-person office, a 12-person open office, and a meeting room. For the spatial sensors, four locations within public buildings were used: a meeting room, a hallway, T-crossing, and a foyer. The recording times range from two weeks to two months depending on scenario complexity.
We found that user-generated patterns appear in building data. The rule mining framework produced structures that represent functional and spatial relationships of building’s devices and provide sufficient information to automate maintenance tasks, e.g., automatic device naming. Furthermore, we found that environmental changes are also a source of device data patterns, which provide additional associations. For example, using the framework we found the façade group for exterior light sensors. The façade group can be used to automatically find an alternative signal source to replace broken outdoor light sensors. Finally, the rule mining framework successfully retrieved the relative location of spatial sensors in all locations but the foyer.
Type PhD Thesis
University Universität Passau
Place Passau
Date 2018
Language en
URL Publisher's website
Accessed 2018-09-27
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Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg