Evaluation of calibration techniques in low-cost air quality sensing

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http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201908133205
Title: Evaluation of calibration techniques in low-cost air quality sensing
Author: Aula, Kasimir
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Science
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2019
Language: eng
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201908133205
http://hdl.handle.net/10138/304703
Thesis level: master's thesis
Degree program: Tietojenkäsittelytieteen maisteriohjelma
Master's Programme in Computer Science
Magisterprogrammet i datavetenskap
Specialisation: Algoritmit
Algorithms
Algoritmer
Discipline: none
Abstract: Air pollution is considered to be one of the biggest environmental risks to health, causing symptoms from headache to lung diseases, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. To improve awareness of pollutants, air quality needs to be measured more densely. Low-cost air quality sensors offer one solution to increase the number of air quality monitors. However, they suffer from low accuracy of measurements compared to professional-grade monitoring stations. This thesis applies machine learning techniques to calibrate the values of a low-cost air quality sensor against a reference monitoring station. The calibrated values are then compared to a reference station’s values to compute error after calibration. In the past, the evaluation phase has been carried out very lightly. A novel method of selecting data is presented in this thesis to ensure diverse conditions in training and evaluation data, that would yield a more realistic impression about the capabilities of a calibration model. To better understand the level of performance, selected calibration models were trained with data corresponding to different levels of air pollution and meteorological conditions. Regarding pollution level, using homogeneous training and evaluation data, the error of a calibration model was found to be even 85% lower than when using diverse training and evaluation pollution environment. Also, using diverse meteorological training data instead of more homogeneous data was shown to reduce the size of the error and provide stability on the behavior of calibration models.


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