A field study of human-agent interaction for electricity tariff switching

Alan, Alper, Costanza, Enrico, Fischer, J., Ramchurn, Sarvapali, Rodden, T. and Jennings, N.R. (2014) A field study of human-agent interaction for electricity tariff switching. In, Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems, Paris, FR, 05 - 09 May 2014. , 965-972.


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Recently, many algorithms have been developed for autonomous agents to manage home energy use on behalf of their human owners. By so doing, it is expected that agents will be more efficient at, for example, choosing the best energy tariff to switch to when dynamically priced tariffs come about. However, to date, there has been no validation of such technologies in any field trial. In particular, it has not been shown whether users prefer fully autonomous agents as opposed to controlling their preferences manually. Hence, in this paper we describe a novel platform, called Tariff Agent, to study notions of flexible autonomy in the context of tariff switching. Tariff Agent uses real-world datasets and real-time electricity monitoring to instantiate a scenario where human participants may have to make, or delegate to their agent (in different ways), tariff switching decisions given uncertainties about their own consumption and tariff prices. We carried out a field trial with 10 participants and, from both quantitative and qualitative results, formulate novel design guidelines for systems that implement flexible autonom.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
T Technology > TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering
Divisions: Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering > Electronics and Computer Science > Agents, Interactions & Complexity
ePrint ID: 360820
Date :
Date Event
May 2014Made publicly available
Date Deposited: 28 Dec 2013 17:23
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 15:03
Funded by: EPSRC (EP/I011587/1)
Led by: Nick Jennings
1 January 2011 to 31 December 2015
Further Information:Google Scholar
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/360820

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