Performance evaluation of techniques for identifying abnormal energy consumption in buildings

The IEEE Access Journal has published our paper on anomaly detection. Titled Performance evaluation of techniques for identifying abnormal energy consumption in buildings, with co-authors Megha Gaur, Ivan V. Bajic, and Angshul Majumdar. Here is the paper abstract:

Energy consumption in buildings has steadily increased. Buildings consume more energy than necessary due to suboptimal design and operation. Apart from retro-fitting, not much can be done with the design of the existing building, but the operation of the building can be improved. Ignoring or failing to fix the faults can lead to problems like the higher cost in excess energy usage or premature component failure. At the same time understanding, identifying, and addressing abnormal energy consumption in buildings can lead to energy savings and detection of faulty appliances. This paper investigates two key challenges found in energy anomaly detection research: 1) the lack of labeled ground truth and 2) the lack of consistent performance accuracy metrics. In the first challenge, labeled ground truth is imperative for training and benchmarking algorithms to detect anomalies. In the second challenge, consistent performance accuracy metrics are crucial to quantifying how well algorithms perform against each other. There exists no publicly available energy consumption dataset with labeled anomaly events. Therefore, we propose two approaches that help in the automatic annotation of the ground truth data from publicly available datasets: a statistical approach for short-term data and a piecewise linear regression method for long-term data. We demonstrate these approaches using two publicly available datasets called Dataport (Pecan Street) and HUE. Using different existing accuracy metrics, we run a series of experiments on anomaly detection algorithms and discuss what metrics can be best used for consistent accuracy testing amongst researchers. In addition, while providing the source code, we also release an anomaly annotated dataset produced by this source code.

Keywords: abnormal energy consumption, accuracy metrics, anomaly detection, baseline generation, ground truth annotation, performance evaluation.

Source code for this project will soon be available on GitHub.

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