Residential Demand Response Applications Using Batch Reinforcement Learning
Abstract: Driven by recent advances in batch Reinforcement Learning (RL), this paper contributes to the application of batch RL to demand response. In contrast to conventional model-based approaches, batch RL techniques do not require a system identification step, which makes them more suitable for a large-scale implementation. This paper extends fitted Q-iteration, a standard batch RL technique, to the situation where a forecast of the exogenous data is provided. In general, batch RL techniques do not rely on expert knowledge on the system dynamics or the solution. However, if some expert knowledge is provided, it can be incorporated by using our novel policy adjustment method. Finally, we tackle the challenge of finding an open-loop schedule required to participate in the day-ahead market. We propose a model-free Monte-Carlo estimator method that uses a metric to construct artificial trajectories and we illustrate this method by finding the day-ahead schedule of a heat-pump thermostat. Our experiments show that batch RL techniques provide a valuable alternative to model-based controllers and that they can be used to construct both closed-loop and open-loop policies.