How BlueBEAR is helping us understand the relationship between outdoor temperature and decision-making

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In this case study we hear from Haonan Tian, a PhD student in Economics, who has been making use of BlueBEAR to enable her research into understanding the relationship between temperature and decision making.

My research focuses on understanding how outdoor temperatures influence critical decision-making in the rating process of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs). In the UK, EPCs provide vital information about a property’s energy efficiency to potential buyers and tenants, playing an indispensable role in real estate transactions. To understand the decision procedure of EPCs, I analyse a massive dataset comprising approximately 17 million EPC records from 2008 to 2023. Given the extensive scale of this dataset, the high-performance computing (HPC) services of BlueBEAR are crucial to my research.

One of my research projects focuses on the impact of temperature on EPC ratings. We find a significant negative relationship between temperature and EPC ratings. A 10°C increase in temperature results in a 1.246 percent points decrease in the likelihood of a property receiving a higher EPC rating. This leads to an estimated loss in property value of 0.06%. Additionally, this phenomenon exhibits a gradual intensification from north to south, indicating a more pronounced negative impact of rising temperatures on EPC ratings in southern regions. Furthermore, the results of the heterogeneous analysis indicate that mood and risk preferences can affect the magnitude of the effects of temperature.

Figure 1: Temperature effects by day of week

Figure 1 shows how the impact of temperature on EPC ratings varies across different days of the week. First, EPC assessments conducted on Mondays are significantly affected by temperature. The psychological ‘Monday Blues’ effect, a drop in mood and motivation at the start of the workweek, could lead to more stringent EPC ratings. Second, the influence of temperature on potential EPC ratings is almost threefold compared to actual EPC ratings. The potential explanation is that the estimated ratings are more prone to the assessor’s subjective judgment, which magnifies the effects of temperature. These findings highlight the importance of the impacts of climate on cognitive outputs.

BlueBEAR’s HPC capabilities are crucial for my research, particularly in managing and analysing the extensive EPC data. The dataset contains approximately seventeen million observations over fifteen years. Processing this data on a laptop would be time-consuming. BlueBEAR, equipped with its advanced multi-core processors, enables these large-scale computations more efficiently.

BlueBEAR, equipped with its advanced multi-core processors, enables these large-scale computations more efficiently.

Additionally, my work greatly benefits from BlueBEAR’s ability to handle complex regressions with multiple variables. This approach, known as ‘Parallel Computation,’ is a game-changer, cutting down processing times considerably. Furthermore, BlueBEAR’s sophisticated visualisation tools are valuable. These visualisations play a key role in both interpreting our findings and communicating them effectively. In conclusion, I highly recommend utilising BlueBEAR’s HPC service to elevate the quality and efficiency of your future studies.

We were so pleased to hear of how Haonan was able to make use of what is on offer from Advanced Research Computing, particularly to hear of how he has made use of BlueBEAR HPC and its many cores – if you have any examples of how it has helped your research then do get in contact with us at We are always looking for good examples of use of High Performance Computing to nominate for HPC Wire Awards – see our recent winners for more details.