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Optimal sensors placement in controlled environment agriculture using a reinforcement learning approach

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2022 ASABE Annual International Meeting  2200101.(doi:10.13031/aim.202200101)
Authors:   Daniel Dooyum Uyeh, Senorpe Hiablie, Tusan Park, Blessing Itoro Bassey, Rammohan Mallipeddi, Seungmin Woo, Hoseung Jang, Minjeong Kwon, Yeongsu Kim, Seokho Kang, Hyunggyu Park, Yonggik Kim, Jinho Son, Hyunseo Lim, Jonggeun Hong, Yushin Ha
Keywords:   Monitoring, Relative humidity, Sensors, Sensor placement, Temperature.

Abstract. Optimal placement of sensors in protected cultivation systems to maximize monitoring and control capabilities can guide effective decision-making toward achieving the highest productivity levels and other desirable outcomes. Unlike conventional machine learning methods such as supervised learning, Reinforcement learning does not require large, labeled datasets, thereby providing opportunities for more efficient and unbiased design optimization. A multi-arm bandit problem was formulated using the Beta distribution and solved by the Thompson sampling algorithm to determine the optimal locations of sensors in a protected cultivation system (greenhouse). A total of 56 two-in-one sensors designed to measure both internal air temperature and relative humidity were installed at a vertical distance of 1 m and a horizontal distance of 3m apart in a greenhouse used to cultivate strawberries. Data was collected over seven months covering four major seasons, February (winter), March, April, and May (spring), June and July (summer), and October (autumn), and analyzed separately. Results showed unique patterns for sensor selection for temperature and relative humidity during the other months. Furthermore, temperature and relative humidity each had different optimal location selections suggesting that two-in-one sensors might not be ideal in these cases. The use of reinforcement learning to design optimal sensor placement in this study aided in identifying 10 optimal sensor locations for monitoring and controlling temperature and relative humidity.

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