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09/02/2019 HYU News > Academics > 이달의연구자


[Researcher of the Month] Agent Manages Your House Energy

Professor Choi Jin-seek (Department of Computer Science)


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When a country's energy supply falls behind the households' energy consumption, a blackout occurs. Up until now, Korea attempted to regulate the energy consumption by giving a 30 percent margin to the energy supply, which required a lot of money and resources. A more efficient energy management would have been possible if the individual household could intelligently control their energy consumption. To address this problem, Professor Choi Jin-seek (Department of Computer Science) has recently published a new design of the Energy Management Agent (EMA) framework, presenting a 'hierarchically distributed' EMA framework in his paper, ‘A Hierarchical Distributed Energy Management Agent Framework for Smart Homes, Grids, and Cities.’

Professor Choi Jin-seek (Department of Computer Science) presented a hierarchically distributed energy management agent model. 

The suggested framework will share real-time information about the overall energy consumption of houses, towns, and countries, and intelligently manage the individual household energy consumption, which would ultimately improve Korea’s energy efficiency. Prior to Choi's research, it was impossible for individual users to access real-time information of the overall energy consumption.

However, the EMA framework enables the AI agents in an individual household to access the information in real time, taking the job of regulating the energy consumption of each house. Every device and house would have an EMA, which shares informations on how much energy is spent and required with other agents, communicating through the energy internet.

A diagram showing the Hierarchical Distributed Energy Management Agent Framework
(Photo courtesy of Choi)

Professor Choi has been working on the most efficient and user-friendly model of energy internet. Previously, there were two framework models: hierarchical and distributed. Choi’s hierarchical distributed framework combines the advantages of the two frameworks.

First, Choi explained that the framework enables the agents to make smart autonomous decisions for the user by sharing energy information to each agent in real time. Agents that received the outside information through energy internet control the in-home energy usage accordingly. For instance, if the district’s overall energy usage is high, the agent could stop a certain household’s machines to temporarily save energy.

Also, the agents learn each household’s specific requirements in order to control the supply with consideration. If there is a patient or a newborn who is vulnerable to heat, the agents will share such information and leave the household out from the control subject.

Choi says that using the framework can decrease the amount of excess supply. "If the framework is implemented, a flexible control of energy consumption in households will be possible, and the country will not require such big margin in supply. Decreasing the current 30 percent margin to 10 or 20 will achieve a groundbreaking energy efficiency for Korea, whose efficiency assessment sits in the lowest within the OECD," said Choi.

Lim Ji-woo
Photos by Lee Hyeon-seon

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