Slah Drira, Sai Ganesh Sarvotham Pai, Yves Sylvain Gilles Reuland, Ian Smith
Sensor-based occupant tracking has the potential to enhance knowledge of the utilization of buildings. Occupancy-tracking strategies using footstep-induced floor vibrations may be beneficial for thermal-load prediction, security enhancement, and care-giving without undermining privacy. Current floor-vibration-based occupant-tracking methodologies are based on data-driven techniques that do not include a physics-based model of the structural behavior of the floor slab. These techniques suffer from ambiguous interpretations when signals are affected by complex configurations of structural and non-structural elements such as beams and walls. Using a physics-based model for data-interpretation enables deployment of sparse number of sensors in contexts of non-uniform structural configurations. In this paper, an application of physics-based data interpretation using error-domain model falsification (EDMF) is presented to track an occupant within an office environment through footstep-induced floor vibrations. EDMF is a population-based approach that incorporates various sources of uncertainty, including bias, arising from measurements and modeling. EDMF involves the rejection of simulated model responses that contradict footstep-induced floor vibration measurements. Thus, EDMF provides a set of candidate locations from an initial population of possible occupant locations. A sequential analysis that accommodates information from previous footsteps is then used to enhance candidate locations and identify trajectories among candidates. In this way, incorporating structural behavior in interpreting vibration measurements induced by occupant footsteps has the potential to identify accurately the trajectory of an occupant in buildings with complex configurations, thereby providing tracking information without undermining privacy.