This page is about the intersection of industrial systems and machine learning in the context of climate change mitigation. For an overview of industry as a whole, please see the Wikipedia page on this topic.[todo redo intro]. Fortunately for ML researchers, the global industrial sector spends billions of dollars annually gathering data on factories and supply chains – aided by improvements in the cost and accessibility of sensors and other data-gathering mechanisms (such as QR codes and image recognition). The availability of large quantities of data, combined with affordable cloud-based storage and computing, indicates that industry may be an excellent place for ML to make a positive climate impact. ML demonstrates considerable potential for reducing industrial GHG emissions under the following circumstances:
- When there is enough accessible, high-quality data around specific processes or transport routes.
- When firms have an incentive to share their proprietary data and/or algorithms with researchers and other firms.
- When aspects of production or shipping can be readily fine-tuned or adjusted, and there are clear objective functions.
- When firms’ incentives align with reducing emissions (for example, through efficiency gains, regulatory compliance, or high GHG prices).
In particular, ML can potentially reduce global emissions by helping to streamline supply chains, improve production quality, predict machine breakdowns, optimize heating and cooling systems, and prioritize the use of clean electricity over fossil fuels. However, it is worth noting that greater efficiency may increase the production of goods and thus GHG emissions (via the Jevons paradox) unless industrial actors have sufficient incentives to reduce overall emissions.
Machine Learning Application Areas
- Optimizing supply chains and logistics
- [Accelerated science]
- Designing for carbon-conscious products/processes
- Optimizing energy usage
- Minimizing wastage
- Rebitzer, G. et al. Intro to life-cycle analysis (2004)
- Gao, J. et al. Google’s white paper on ML for data center optimization
- Gustavsson, J. et al. Intro to food waste (2011)
- Wikipedia - Intro to Industry 4.0
- Carbon180 - Building a New Carbon Economy (substantial overlap with carbon sequestration and agriculture)
Online Courses and Course Materials
Journals and conferences
Societies and organizations
- Carbon180 New Carbon Economy Consortium is focused on carbon capture and sequestration, including agriculture and forestry
- Ellen MacArthur Foundation -- consortium around the circular economy and sustainable supply chains/materials development
- Helps (mostly large) manufacturers consider the entire life cycle of their products
- Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) -- popular global standards board for corporate sustainability efforts
- The BlueGreen Alliance's Clean Economy Manufacturing Center (USA) helps American manufacturers and construction firms improve efficiency and sustainability
Past and upcoming events
Libraries and Tools
- The Materials Project
- Inorganic Crystal Structure Database
- SciFinder (paid)
- USA Industrial Assessment Centers: database of solutions from university collaborations with SMEs to save energy and reduce costs
- Davis, Steven J.; Lewis, Nathan S.; Shaner, Matthew; Aggarwal, Sonia; Arent, Doug; Azevedo, Inês L.; Benson, Sally M.; Bradley, Thomas; Brouwer, Jack; Chiang, Yet-Ming; Clack, Christopher T. M. (2018-06-29). "Net-zero emissions energy systems". Science. 360 (6396): eaas9793. doi:10.1126/science.aas9793. ISSN 0036-8075.
- Mike Gualtieri, Noel Yuhanna, Holger Kisker, Rowan Curran, Brandon Purcell, Sophia Christakis, Shreyas Warrier, and Matthew Izzi. The Forrester Wave: Big data streaming analytics, Q1 2016. Forrester.com, January 2016.
- Kazi, Rubaiat Habib; Grossman, Tovi; Cheong, Hyunmin; Hashemi, Ali; Fitzmaurice, George (2017-10-20). "DreamSketch: Early stage 3D design explorations with sketching and generative design". Proceedings of the 30th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology. New York, NY, USA: ACM. doi:10.1145/3126594.3126662. ISBN 978-1-4503-4981-9.
- Richard Evans and Jim Gao. DeepMind AI reduces Google data centre cooling bill by 40%. DeepMind blog, 20, 2016.
- Zhang, Xiao; Hug, Gabriela; Kolter, J. Zico; Harjunkoski, Iiro (2016-07). "Model predictive control of industrial loads and energy storage for demand response". 2016 IEEE Power and Energy Society General Meeting (PESGM). IEEE. doi:10.1109/pesgm.2016.7741228. ISBN 978-1-5090-4168-8. Check date values in:
- Berral, Josep Ll.; Goiri, Íñigo; Nou, Ramón; Julià, Ferran; Guitart, Jordi; Gavaldà, Ricard; Torres, Jordi (2010). "Towards energy-aware scheduling in data centers using machine learning". Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Energy-Efficient Computing and Networking - e-Energy '10. New York, New York, USA: ACM Press. doi:10.1145/1791314.1791349. ISBN 978-1-4503-0042-1.
- Sorrell, Steve (2009-04). "Jevons' Paradox revisited: The evidence for backfire from improved energy efficiency". Energy Policy. 37 (4): 1456–1469. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2008.12.003. ISSN 0301-4215. Check date values in: