Agricultural irrigation is a significant contributor to freshwater consumption. However, the current irrigation systems used in the field are not efficient. They rely mainly on soil moisture sensors and the experience of growers, but do not account for future soil moisture loss. Predicting soil moisture loss is challenging because it is influenced by numerous factors, including soil texture, weather conditions, and plant characteristics. This paper proposes a solution to improve irrigation efficiency, which is called DRLIC. DRLIC is a sophisticated irrigation system that uses deep reinforcement learning (DRL) to optimize its performance. The system employs a neural network, known as the DRL control agent, which learns an optimal control policy that considers both the current soil moisture measurement and the future soil moisture loss. We introduce an irrigation reward function that enables our control agent to learn from previous experiences. However, there may be instances where the output of our DRL control agent is unsafe, such as irrigating too much or too little water. To avoid damaging the health of the plants, we implement a safety mechanism that employs a soil moisture predictor to estimate the performance of each action. If the predicted outcome is deemed unsafe, we perform a relatively-conservative action instead. To demonstrate the real-world application of our approach, we developed an irrigation system that comprises sprinklers, sensing and control nodes, and a wireless network. We evaluate the performance of DRLIC by deploying it in a testbed consisting of six almond trees. During a 15-day in-field experiment, we compared the water consumption of DRLIC with a widely-used irrigation scheme. Our results indicate that DRLIC outperformed the traditional irrigation method by achieving a water savings of up to 9.52%.
In this paper, we take a holistic approach to deal with the tradeoffs between energy use and comfort in commercial buildings. We developed a system called OCTOPUS, which employs a novel deep reinforcement learning (DRL) framework that uses a data-driven approach to find the optimal control sequences of all building's subsystems, including HVAC, lighting, blind and window systems. The DRL architecture includes a novel reward function that allows the framework to explore the tradeoffs between energy use and users' comfort, while at the same time enabling the solution of the high-dimensional control problem due to the interactions of four different building subsystems. In order to cope with OCTOPUS's data training requirements, we argue that calibrated simulations that match the target building operational points are the vehicle to generate enough data to be able to train our DRL framework to find the control solution for the target building. In our work, we trained OCTOPUS with 10-year weather data and a building model that is implemented in the EnergyPlus building simulator, which was calibrated using data from a real production building. Through extensive simulations, we demonstrate that OCTOPUS can achieve 14.26% and 8.1% energy savings compared with the state-of-the-art rule-based method in a LEED Gold Certified building and the latest DRL-based method available in the literature respectively, while maintaining human comfort within a desired range.
In this paper, we propose a single-agent Monte Carlo based reinforced feature selection (MCRFS) method, as well as two efficiency improvement strategies, i.e., early stopping (ES) strategy and reward-level interactive (RI) strategy. Feature selection is one of the most important technologies in data prepossessing, aiming to find the optimal feature subset for a given downstream machine learning task. Enormous research has been done to improve its effectiveness and efficiency. Recently, the multi-agent reinforced feature selection (MARFS) has achieved great success in improving the performance of feature selection. However, MARFS suffers from the heavy burden of computational cost, which greatly limits its application in real-world scenarios. In this paper, we propose an efficient reinforcement feature selection method, which uses one agent to traverse the whole feature set, and decides to select or not select each feature one by one. Specifically, we first develop one behavior policy and use it to traverse the feature set and generate training data. And then, we evaluate the target policy based on the training data and improve the target policy by Bellman equation. Besides, we conduct the importance sampling in an incremental way, and propose an early stopping strategy to improve the training efficiency by the removal of skew data. In the early stopping strategy, the behavior policy stops traversing with a probability inversely proportional to the importance sampling weight. In addition, we propose a reward-level interactive strategy to improve the training efficiency via reward-level external advice. Finally, we design extensive experiments on real-world data to demonstrate the superiority of the proposed method.
Training deep learning models on mobile devices recently becomes possible, because of increasing computation power on mobile hardware and the advantages of enabling high user experiences. Most of the existing work on machine learning at mobile devices is focused on the inference of deep learning models (particularly convolutional neural network and recurrent neural network), but not training. The performance characterization of training deep learning models on mobile devices is largely unexplored, although understanding the performance characterization is critical for designing and implementing deep learning models on mobile devices. In this paper, we perform a variety of experiments on a representative mobile device (the NVIDIA TX2) to study the performance of training deep learning models. We introduce a benchmark suite and tools to study performance of training deep learning models on mobile devices, from the perspectives of memory consumption, hardware utilization, and power consumption. The tools can correlate performance results with fine-grained operations in deep learning models, providing capabilities to capture performance variance and problems at a fine granularity. We reveal interesting performance problems and opportunities, including under-utilization of heterogeneous hardware, large energy consumption of the memory, and high predictability of workload characterization. Based on the performance analysis, we suggest interesting research directions.