SensorFormer: Efficient Many-to-Many Sensor Calibration with Learnable Input Sub-Sampling

Yun Cheng, Olga Saukh, Lothar Thiele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Accurate calibration of low-cost environmental sensors is a prerequisite for their successful use in many monitoring applications. State-of-the-art calibration methods vary from simple linear regression to sophisticated deep models based on LSTMs and GRUs. The latter take past measurements to improve calibration accuracy. In this paper, we argue that both recent past and close future measurements help to achieve accurate calibration, whereas accuracy improvements beyond the past come with a delay introduced by the occurrence of the future. We propose a generalized calibration scheme called based on the successful Transformer model which takes both past and future raw measurements into account. We show that the proposed approach (1) outperforms other methods by improving calibration accuracy by 16.5 % to 20.4 % on public datasets and own field data, and (2) can efficiently run on low-power microcontrollers with very limited computational and storage capabilities. The latter is achieved by a novel optimization technique based on learnable input sub-sampling taking advantage of the properties of typical sensor data. We manage to reduce the model size by 20 % to 33 % and minimize the overall FLOPs by 65 % while maintaining superior accuracy than state-of-the-art methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20577-20589
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Internet of Things Journal
Issue number20
Early online date27 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2022


  • Air Quality.
  • Calibration
  • Computational modeling
  • Efficient Transformer Model
  • Gain measurement
  • Internet of Things
  • Pollution measurement
  • Sensor Calibration
  • Time measurement
  • Transformers
  • Air quality
  • efficient transformer model
  • sensor calibration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Signal Processing
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computer Science Applications

Fields of Expertise

  • Information, Communication & Computing

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