Human in the loop active learning for time-series electrical measurement data

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Advanced machine learning algorithms require large datasets, along with good-quality labels to reach state-of-the-art performance. Although measurements themselves can often be easily available, the labelling process is usually a bottleneck. To address this, active learning approaches exploit the fact that different samples provide varying levels of information to the algorithm. However, these approaches often rely on several unrealistic assumptions - an oracle is assumed to provide error-free labels, all at the same cost and effort. We propose novel active learning-based methods for classification of time series measurements, typically obtained from sensors continuously measuring highly fluctuating environmental conditions including electricity consumption, and demonstrate their effectiveness for home energy management applications, where data labelling is a challenge.
A new acquisition function is proposed, which accounts for both model and labelling uncertainty and class balancing. A stopping criterion is designed to stop the active learning process after an optimal point is achieved, to reduce labelling effort. We assess the effect of labelling errors on classification performance and propose two ways of mitigating their effects: (i) a re-labelling mechanism based on similarity of provided labels; (ii) a revised loss function based on confidence levels provided by experts. We validate our contributions for energy dissagregation task in a real-world scenario with three application domain experts. Our results show that the proposed methodology significantly improves performance of algorithms transferred to unseen domains with reduced number of labelled samples - from 61% reduction for dishwasher to 93% reduction for kettle.
Original languageEnglish
Article number108589
Number of pages17
JournalEngineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence
Issue numberPart F
Early online date21 May 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 May 2024


  • active learning
  • deep learning
  • human in the loop
  • time series data
  • labelling


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