Unified Autoencoder with Task Embeddings for Multi-Task Learning in Renewable Power Forecasting
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International Conference on Machine Learning and Applications (ICMLA), IEEE, (2022)(accepted).

Renewable power generation forecasts using machine learning are typically implemented as single-task learning models, where a separate model is trained for each photovoltaic or wind park. In recent years, transfer learning is gaining popularity in these systems, as it can be used to transfer the knowledge gained from source parks to a target park. However, for transferring the knowledge to a target park, there is a need to determine the most similar source park(s) among the existing parks. This similarity determination using historical power measurements is challenging when the target park has limited to no historical data samples. Therefore, we propose a simple multi-task learning architecture that initially learns a common representation of input weather features among the tasks, using a Unified Autoencoder (UAE) and then learns the task specific information utilizing a Task Embedding layer in a Neural Network (TENN). This proposed architecture, UAE-TENN, can be easily extended to new parks with or without historical data. An elaborate performance comparison of single and multi-task learning models is performed on six photovoltaic and wind farm datasets comprising a total of 529 parks. UAE-TENN significantly improves the performance of power forecasting by 10 to 19% for photovoltaic parks and 5 to 22% for wind parks compared to the baseline models. Even in the zero-shot learning scenario, when there is no historical data, we successfully demonstrate that the UAE-TENN improves the forecast accuracy for a new park by 19% for photovoltaic parks.
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