Document Type

Technical Report

Date of this Version



@TechReport{uncertinty2013, author = {Behl, M. and Nghiem, T. X. and Mangharam, R.}, title = "{Uncertainty Propagation from Sensing to Modeling and Control in Buildings - Technical Report}", institution = {University of Pennsylvania}, year = 2013, month = "Oct"}


A fundamental problem in the design of closed-loop Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) is in accurately capturing the dynamics of the underlying physical system. To provide optimal control for such closed-loop systems, model-based controls require accurate physical plant models. It is hard to analytically establish (a) how data quality from sensors affects model accuracy, and consequently, (b) the effect of model accuracy on the operational cost of model-based controllers. We present the Model-IQ toolbox which, given a plant model and real input data, automatically evaluates the effect of this uncertainty propagation from sensor data to model accuracy to controller performance. We apply the Model-IQ uncertainty analysis for model-based controls in buildings to demonstrate the cost-benefit of adding temporary sensors to capture a building model. Model-IQ's automated process lowers the cost of sensor deployment, model training and evaluation of advanced controls for small and medium sized buildings. Model-IQ provides recommendation of sensor placement and density to trade-off the cost of additional sensors with energy savings by the improved controller performance. Such end-to-end analysis of uncertainty propagation has the potential to lower the cost for CPS with closed-loop model based control. We demonstrate this with real building data in the Department of Energy's HUB.


energy efficient buildings, control systems, uncertainty analysis



Date Posted: 21 October 2013