Jack's blog

Simplifying NILMTK

NILMTK is now over two years old. Having had a chance to use it as a user (rather than a developer), and also having had a chance to take a step back from NILMTK development, it feels like there are quite a few opportunities to simplify the NILMTK code base, without modifying the public API much (although the public API probably could also do with some tidying up - but if we were to do that then we'd be careful to slowly make functions deprecated rather than just strip stuff out straight away).

The NILM issue queue now has a 'simplify' label to indicate which issues are to do with, well, making NILMTK more simple! The two main ideas are:

  1. Replace NILMTK's out-of-core code with Blaze
  2. NILMTK should interact with other Python tools more smoothly

Please do let me know your thoughts (ideally on the issue queue rather than on this blog post).

The core NILMTK developers are really busy at the moment so these ideas definitely won't be implemented any time soon - and may never be implemented. But it would be great to hear your opinions. And, of course, we'd try very hard not to modify the public API unless it really needs to be modified.

Current Cost and EDF EcoManager RF protocol docs are back online :)

Back in 2012, a few of us hacker folks chipped away at reverse-engineering the radio protocols for Current Cost and EDF EcoManager electricity meters. We kept our notes on a github wiki. Then Current Cost asked us to take those docs down. But, today, Current Cost very kindly allowed us to put the docs back online! Specifically, these two docs are now back online:

Have fun :)

3rd International Workshop on NILM -- SAVE THE DATE!

Dear NILM researchers,

The 3rd International Workshop on Non-Intrusive Load Monitoring (NILM) will be held in Vancouver, Canada from May 14 to 15, 2016. The venue for the workshop is still under consideration. Last workshop was held June/2014 at the University of Texas, Austin, in Austin, TX.

Fix headphone audio output on Linux on HP ProBook 6450b

The headphone output on my HP ProBook 6450b on Ubuntu Linux stopped working a few updates ago and I think I've found how to fix it:

cd /usr/share/pulseaudio/alsa-mixer/paths
sudo cp analog-output-headphones.conf analog-output-headphones.bak
gksudo emacs analog-output-headphones.conf

Turn on the master volume (it was 'mute'):

[Element Master]
switched = on

Convert Reveal.js + D3 to PDF

The last two presentations I've given have been created using reveal.js and d3.js. This combination of technologies allows for some nice data-driven animation. For example, my BuildSys presentation on Neural NILM is available to view here and the source code is here. I was honoured to learn that my BuildSys presentation won joint best presentation!

Maker Spaces in and around Peckham

There are (at least) two new "Maker Spaces" in or near to Peckham...

In Peckham's Bussey Building there is the new Hub Workshop which opened in 2015, I think. They have a laser cutter, 3D printer, CNC router and some other cool things. Very excited about this as it's just a 10 minute walk from my house! Not sure they have much in the way of electronics test tools?

2nd "Making Session" with primary school kids

Yesterday I did my second 'making workshop' with fifteen 5-6 yearolds at our new local primary school, The Belham. For a bit more background, please see my last blog post on these 'making workshops'.

"Making" workshops with 4-6 yearolds

Yesterday I did my first 'making workshop' with fifteen 5-6 yearolds at our new local primary school, The Belham (my 4-yearold daughter has just started at The Belham). My hope with these workshops is to encourage the kids to try building interesting creations and, along the way, sneak in some stuff they might not have played with yet like basic electronics. I'll be doing two workshops a month. I suppose the main aim is to show how much fun it is to build stuff (which shouldn't be hard: the kids seem to know this instinctively).


The plan was for the children to get into three groups of five children. Each group would make one den out of cardboard boxes. If the kids wanted 'windows' cut into their boxes then they'd draw the outline of the window and an adult would come along and cut out the window. They'd then run plastic pipe between the dens to make 'telephones'. Then we'd install lights, batteries and switches in the dens. And it wasn't just me running the workshop: we had two awesome teaching assistants (i.e. two full-time staff from the nursery school) who were much better at handling the kids than I was!


Draft Neural NILM paper

My draft Neural NILM paper is available here, if you're interested (this is currently submitted to a conference)

Comments are very welcome!

About to go on holiday...

update the paper is now or arXiv : "Neural NILM: Deep neural networks applied to energy disaggregation" is now on arXiv

update 2: the code isn't available yet but I definitely plan to release it.

Neural NILM: Deep Neural Networks Applied to Energy Disaggregation

At the NILM Workshop last Wednesday, I presented a poster on "Neural NILM: Deep Neural Networks Applied to Energy Disaggregation". It was a lot of fun discussing it with the participants! There's still a lot of work to do but this approach does work reasonably well right now. More details will come later...


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