Sensor Fusion and Convolutional Neural Networks for Indoor Occupancy Prediction Using Multiple Low-Cost Low-Resolution Heat Sensor Data

Sensors (Basel). 2021 Feb 3;21(4):1036. doi: 10.3390/s21041036.


Indoor occupancy prediction is a prerequisite for the management of energy consumption, security, health, and other systems in smart buildings. Previous studies have shown that buildings that automatize their heating, lighting, air conditioning, and ventilation systems through considering the occupancy and activity information might reduce energy consumption by more than 50%. However, it is difficult to use high-resolution sensors and cameras for occupancy prediction due to privacy concerns. In this paper, we propose a novel solution for predicting occupancy using multiple low-cost and low-resolution heat sensors. We suggest two different methods for fusing and processing the data captured from multiple heat sensors and we use a Convolutional Neural Network for predicting occupancy. We conduct experiments to assess both the performance of the proposed solutions and analyze the impact of sensor field view overlaps on the prediction results. In summary, our experimental results show that the implemented solutions show high occupancy prediction accuracy and real-time processing capabilities.

Keywords: artificial intelligence (AI); heat sensors; machine learning; multi-sensor; neural networks; occupancy prediction; sensor fusion; smart offices.