[riot-devel] [GSOC 2015] Project A2

Thomas C. Schmidt schmidt at informatik.haw-hamburg.de
Mon Mar 9 10:11:13 CET 2015

Hi Samarth,

yes, I agree with your analysis. One aspect I'd like to emphasize, 
though, is that with 'intelligence' we need distribution, i.e., the 
sensors need to talk to each other.

Now for the discussion on the use case: You're perfectly right, if we 
predict we are operating under probabilities. First assumption is that 
the person continues moving and does not simply stop.

Sometimes these probabilities are very high, for example, when a person 
walks down a hallway or opens a door. Sometimes these probabilities are 
lower, if a person can walk right or left for instance.

Our use case is that we want (with some threshold) support continuous 
lightening on some price of energy consumption. Typically light sources 
(incl. the sensors) are not densely covering the area. In our university 
for example, I have to deeply enter a lecture hall until a sensor 
detects me and switches on the light. This is really unpleasant at 
complete darkness. It is also inconvenient, if people walk down a path 
and lights turn on too late. Then a steady change in brightness is 
affecting the vision.

However, there is some tunable parameter (energy versus comfort) and 
there is learning potential (i.e., how often did a prediction succeed?). 
I guess this gives a rather rich field of building a solution that 
covers quite a number of aspects and focuses on the really exciting 
topic of a distributed intelligent system.

Does this help?

Best regards,


On 09.03.2015 09:03, Samarth Bansal wrote:
> Hello!
> I just got across Project A2 : Intelligently interacting light switches.
> Sounds really interesting.
> I have a few questions:
> 1. The most naive approach I can think about it is this - When a motion
> detector sensor detects the presence of a person, the light turns on.
> 2. Now that we are adding intelligence - is it that basically we are
> trying to determine the path that a person might take and then turn on
> lights accordingly? Lets suppose that the particular person has an ID,
> and our devices have historical data about that person as well as of
> other people. So the path is determined by taking into context and
> giving apt weight to both forms of data - to predict a path.
> 3. If that is the case, I have a concern. As for any learning problem,
> we will be operating under probabilities. Given the nature of the
> problem in hand, there maybe multiple paths possible with high
> probability(Right?). For energy efficiency, we won't really like the
> lighting system to turn on all the probable lights. That is the precise
> reasons for having sensors. So how does the intelligent lighting system
> help?
> The hardware part looks simple. I guess that any micro-controller with a
> PIR motion sensor attachment and a bunch of LEDs should be good enough
> for prototyping. Although I think we can simulate the environment by
> laying down a graph of motion sensors and lights instead of setting up
> hardware. Does this make sense?
> Looking forward to the comments!
> Thanks,
> Samarth
> --
> Samarth Bansal
> 4th Year Undergraduate
> Department of Mathematics and Statistics
> IIT Kanpur
> E-Mail    : samarthb at iitk.ac.in <mailto:samarthb at iitk.ac.in>,
> samarthbansal42 at gmail.com <mailto:samarthbansal42 at gmail.com>
> Phone    : +91-9871551169
> Blog       : samarthbansal.com/blog <http://samarthbansal.com/blog>


Prof. Dr. Thomas C. Schmidt
° Hamburg University of Applied Sciences                   Berliner Tor 7 °
° Dept. Informatik, Internet Technologies Group    20099 Hamburg, Germany °
° http://www.haw-hamburg.de/inet                   Fon: +49-40-42875-8452 °
° http://www.informatik.haw-hamburg.de/~schmidt    Fax: +49-40-42875-8409 °

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