Towards Optimization of Building Energy and Occupant Comfort Using Multi-Agent Simulation

Laura Klein, Geoffrey Kavulya, FarrokhJazizadeh, Jun-young Kwak, Burcin Becerik-Gerber, Pradeep Varakantham, MilindTambe
Pages 251-256 (2011 Proceedings of the 28th ISARC, Seoul, Korea)

The primary consumers of building energy are heating, cooling, ventilation, and lighting systems, which maintain occupant comfort, and electronics and appliances that enable occupant functionality. The optimization of building energy is therefore a complex problem highly dependent on unique building and environmental conditions as well as on time dependent operational factors. To provide computational support for this optimization, this paper presents and implements a multi-agent comfort and energy simulation (MACES) to model alternative management and control of building systems and occupants. Human and device agents are used to explore current trends in energy consumption and management of a university test bed building. Reactive and predictive control strategies are then imposed on device agents in an attempt to reduce building energy consumption while maintaining occupant comfort. Finally, occupant agents are motivated by simulation feedback to accept more energy conscious scheduling through multi-agent negotiations. Initial results of the MACES demonstrate potential energy savings of 17% while maintaining a high level of occupant comfort. This work is intended to demonstrate a simulation tool, which is implementable in the actual test bed site and compatible with real-world input to instigate and motivate more energy conscious control and occupant behaviors.

Keywords: Building Energy Consumption, Multi-agent Systems, Occupant Comfort, Multi-objective Optimization