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Artificial neural networks to predict daylight illuminance in office buildings
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A prediction model was developed to determine daylight illuminance for the office buildings by using artificial neural networks (ANNs). Illuminance data were collected for 3 months by applying a field measuring method. Utilizing weather data from the local weather station and building parameters from the architectural drawings, a three-layer ANN model of feed-forward type (with one output node) was constructed. Two variables for time (date, hour), 5 weather determinants (outdoor temperature, solar radiation, humidity, UV index and UV dose) and 6 building parameters (distance to windows, number of windows, orientation of rooms, floor identification, room dimensions and point identification) were considered as input variables. Illuminance was used as the output variable. In ANN modeling, the data were divided into two groups; the first 80 of these data sets were used for training and the remaining 20 for testing. Microsoft Excel Solver used simplex optimization method for the optimal weights. The model's performance was then measured by using the illuminance percentage error. As the prediction power of the model was almost 98%, predicted data had close matches with the measured data. The prediction results were successful within the sample measurements. The model was then subjected to sensitivity analysis to determine the relationship between the input and output variables. NeuroSolutions Software by NeuroDimensions Inc., was adopted for this application. Researchers and designers will benefit from this model in daylighting performance assessment of buildings by making predictions and comparisons and in the daylighting design process by determining illuminance.