Energy Disaggregation via Discriminative Sparse Coding

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 23 (NIPS 2010)

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J. Kolter, Siddharth Batra, Andrew Ng


Energy disaggregation is the task of taking a whole-home energy signal and separating it into its component appliances. Studies have shown that having device-level energy information can cause users to conserve significant amounts of energy, but current electricity meters only report whole-home data. Thus, developing algorithmic methods for disaggregation presents a key technical challenge in the effort to maximize energy conservation. In this paper, we examine a large scale energy disaggregation task, and apply a novel extension of sparse coding to this problem. In particular, we develop a method, based upon structured prediction, for discriminatively training sparse coding algorithms specifically to maximize disaggregation performance. We show that this significantly improves the performance of sparse coding algorithms on the energy task and illustrate how these disaggregation results can provide useful information about energy usage.