Comparing four machine learning algorithms for household non-intrusive load monitoring

Thomas Lee Young, James Gopsill*, Maria Valero, Sindre Eikevåg, Ben Hicks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


The combination of Machine Learning (ML), smart energy meters, and availability of household appliance energy profile data has opened new opportunities for Non-Intrusive Load Monitoring (NILM). However, the number of options makes it challenging in selecting optimal combinations for different energy applications, which requires studies to examine their trade-offs. This paper contributes one such study that investigated four established ML approaches – K Nearest Neighbour (KNN), Support Vector Machine (SVM), eXtreme Gradient Boosting (XGBoost) and Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) – and their performance in classifying appliance events from Alternating Current (AC) and Root Mean Square (RMS) energy data where the sampling frequency and training dataset set size was varied (10 Hz–1 kHz and 50–2000 examples per class, respectively). The computational expense during training, testing and storage was also assessed and evaluated with reference to real-world applications. The CNN classifier trained on AC data at 500 Hz and 11,000 examples gave the best F1-score 0.989 followed by the KNN classifier 0.940. The storage size required by the CNN models was 3̃MB, which is very close to fitting on cost-effective embedded system microcontrollers. This would prevent high-rate data needing to be sent to the cloud as analysis could be performed on edge computing Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100384
Pages (from-to)100384
Number of pages1
JournalEnergy and AI
Early online date24 Jun 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Jun 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Author(s)


  • NILM
  • ML
  • Edge computing
  • Signal processing
  • Smart meters


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