A Bayesian modeling approach of human interactions with shading and electric lighting systems in private offices


In this paper, we present a hierarchical Bayesian approach to model human interactions with motorized roller shades and dimmable electric lights. At the top level of hierarchy, Bayesian multivariate binary-choice logit models predict the probability of shade raising/lowering actions as well as the actions to increase the level of electric light. At the bottom level, Bayesian regression models with built-in physical constraints estimate the magnitude of actions, and hence the corresponding operating states of shading and electric lighting systems. The models are based on a dataset from a field study conducted in private offices designed to facilitate a large number of participants and to collect data on environmental parameters as well as individual characteristics and human attributes governing human-shading and – electric lighting interactions. In this study, models were developed only for arrival periods due to the low frequency of actions during intermediate time intervals with continuous occupation. Our modeling framework demonstrates the advantages of the Bayesian approach that captures the epistemic uncertainty in the model parameters, which is important when dealing with small-sized datasets, a ubiquitous issue in human data collection in actual buildings; it also enables the incorporation of prior beliefs about the systems; and offers a systematic way to select amongst different models using the Bayes factor and the evidence for each model. Our findings reveal that besides environmental variables, human attributes are significant predictors of human interactions, and improve the predictive performance when incorporated as features in shading action models.

Energy and Buildings