Coupling Stochastic Occupant Models to Building Performance Simulation Using the Discrete Event System Specification (DEVS) Formalism

Burak Gunay, Liam O'Brien, Ian Beausoleil-Morrison, Rhys Goldstein, Simon Breslav, Azam Khan

Journal of Building Performance Simulation


When applying occupant models to BPS, it is common practice to use a discrete-time approach requiring fixed time steps. Consequently, a simulated occupant’s decisions do not increase in frequency in response to rapid changes in environmental conditions. Furthermore, as illustrated in this study through the analysis of a discrete-time EnergyPlus simulation, changing the time step between simulation runs may have a dramatic effect on BPS predictions. It is therefore necessary to adhere to a prescribed time step, which may complicate the synchronization of events when models of different domains are coupled. The main contribution of this study is an investigation of the viability of employing the discrete event system specification (DEVS) formalism to represent occupant behaviour without fixed and prescribed time steps. Results indicate that using an adaptive time advancement scheme, the DEVS formalism permits realistic patterns of decision making while facilitating the coupling of stochastic occupant models with thermal and HVAC models.


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