Monday, 29 June 2020

DEBS 2020 NILM Grand Challenge

The DEBS Grand Challenge is a series of competitions in which both academics and professionals compete with the goal of building faster and more accurate distributed and event-based system. This year, the DEBS Grand Challenge focuses on NILM, with the goal of detecting when appliances contributing to an aggregated stream of voltage and current readings from a smart meter are switched on or off. The track has already closed to submissions, but the submissions will be presented at the DEBS 2020 conference, which will be held on Thursday 16th July. The whole conference is virtual and registration is free for participants. Registrants have access to the 5 day online program, including tutorials, keynotes, and main conference presentations, as well as access to the Slack discussion channel. The papers can also be downloaded via the online programme.

Thursday, 4 June 2020

IDEAL Household Energy Dataset released

The IDEAL Household Energy Dataset was recently announced by researchers at the University of Edinburgh. The data set is under embargo until Autumn 2020. The data set description reads:

The IDEAL Household Energy Dataset comprises data from 255 UK homes. Alongside electric and gas data from each home the corpus contains individual room temperature and humidity readings and temperature readings from the boiler. For 39 of the 255 homes more detailed data is available, including individual electrical appliance use data, and data on individual radiators. Sensor data is augmented by anonymised survey data and metadata including occupant demographics, self-reported energy awareness and attitudes, and building, room and appliance characteristics.

Monday, 23 March 2020

George Hart's 1984 progress report: "Nonintrusive Appliance Load Data Acquisition Method"

Stephen Makonin recently made George Hart's 1984 progress report available, titled "Nonintrusive Appliance Load Data Acquisition Method". This is one of the earliest reports describing a NILM system, and shortly proceeds Hart's 1985 second progress report and 1992 summary report. Happy reading!

On another note, George Hart also gave the keynote presentation at the 2016 International NILM Workshop in Vancouver, where he talked about NILM in the 1980s, and his more recent interests in sculpture and education.

Monday, 16 December 2019

From Hive to Bulb

Last month I said a slightly sad farewell to many great friends as I left Hive. The smart home and internet of things fields present some truly interesting data science challenges, and over the past four years I've been fortunate enough to help people understand their energy usage, detect leaks in their house's plumbing and detect failures in their boiler. It's genuinely been an awesome journey, and I want to say a massive thank you to everyone I worked with along the way.

Earlier this month I started a new role as a senior data scientist at Bulb. Bulb are the UK's fastest growing energy supplier, with a mission to make energy simpler, cheaper and greener. The primary reason I joined Bulb was the opportunity to help their members save energy, and I'm excited to be working back in the field of smart metering. Hopefully this will also be good news for this blog too!

Monday, 11 November 2019

Towards reproducible state-of-the-art energy disaggregation

This week Nipun Batra will present a paper which aims to improve the reproducibility of state-of-the-art NILM at BuildSys 2019 in New York. The full paper is available online, which describes the new experiment and disaggregator APIs in NILMTK, along with a number of algorithms implemented in the nilmtk-contrib repository. The work will also be presented during the demo session to give NILM researchers some hands on experience using NILMTK's new disaggregation algorithms.

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

New Slack channel for the NILM community

Vicente Masip has set up a Slack channel for researchers to discuss anything related to NILM. Slack features include:

  • Organised discussions: low f., highf.,home,industry,datasets
  • Shared cloud resources at two clicks from your desktop.
  • Polls
  • Shared document editing
  • Personalise each notification alert
  • Repository of git repositories
  • Chat (Faster than emails or forum)
  • Space for NILM job candidates and recruiters
  • Place to announce NILM papers publications, keynotes, workshops
The channel is open for anyone to join - please go ahead and introduce yourself! The invitation link is as follows:
and the channel URL is:

Friday, 25 October 2019

EU NILM 2019 Workshop Summary

Earlier this month I attended the Sixth European Workshop on Non-intrusive Load Monitoring in sunny Thessaloniki, Greece, along with nearly 100 other researchers from academia and industry. The workshop featured 22 presentations over two days, along with a set of lightning talks, a poster and demo session, and a social event at a beautiful seafront restaurant. Overall, I think it was the smoothest workshop we've run so far, and we received some really positive feedback at the end of the workshop. For that I have to say a massive thank you to Dimitrios from NET2GRID for handling the local organisation, and Niki from Verv for handling the practical logistics.

There's always a slight risk when moving an event to a new location, but I was really encouraged to see a similar number of participants to last year's workshop in Germany. Furthermore, we saw an increase in the number of people watching the livestream, which is especially encouraging given the workshop's focus on enabling energy savings!

I particularly enjoyed Patrick Huber's talk on deep neural networks in NILM. I think this type of summary talk is ideal for the workshop, as it provides the audience with an overview of a large amount of academic literature in a short space of time. I was actually chairing this session, but I got so drawn in to the talk that I forgot to let Patrick know when he had 5 minutes remaining - sorry Patrick!

A few suggestions came up for improvements for next year:

  • NILM Competition
  • Metric standardisation 
  • Panel discussion
  • Peer review of short papers for academic submissions and abstracts for industry submissions

If you're interested in organising / contributing to any of the above, please get in touch!