Suggested Device Names?


I am curious if there is a place to find any information on “best practices” for device naming conventions? I have read the blog post on (Renaming Devices) with particular attention to Point number 4. Is there anywhere a published list of suggested “Standard device word or phrase[s]”?


IMHO and my own personal preference, I refer you to my post on naming wish list items:

With respect to the guidance provided in the Renaming Devices blog post, using their fridge example, I would name them Fridge Kitchen and Fridge Garage as opposed to Kitchen Fridge and Garage Fridge. The reason for that, as detailed in my previous post, is that I find it more useful/informative to see all my Fridges sorted next to each other in the Sense app. If you were more interested in understanding all the items in a given space, then you could name them the other way around. Alternatively, if there were another characteristic that was most important to you and common across several devices, that attribute could take the lead position in your name. (This is essentially the default provide by Sense’s initial categorization, e.g., Motor 1, Heat 3, etc.)

Think of naming as your first pass sort for grouping devices. You can always pull the data and post process to group in any way you find useful, but without going that far, your name provides that capability.


I guess my question was more for the Data Science side rather than the user experience side. Are there any suggestions for naming like “Fridge” vs “Refrigerator” or for a private well pump, say “Well Pump” vs “Water Pump” vs “Jet Pump” or “Air Conditioner” vs “A/C” vs “Window Air”? I’m sure there are other examples, but I am not cleaver enough to think of them off hand.


Point taken. My suggestion at least adds consistency and normalization, although as you point out, name types are chosen for personal preference. (In the specific example of “Fridge” vs “Refrigerator”, they chose Fridge as their default type, so I use Fridge.)

From the Data Science perspective I really don’t think it matters as long as you follow the suggestions in the blog post and use reasonable names (don’t call it ColdThing as opposed to Fridge). But remember, if you are naming the device, then I also presume you have its characteristics and are entering Location, Make and Model. So, even if you call it WaterPump, when you also say it is located in the Well House, is made by Wayne and and is model XYZZY, you have pretty much nailed it. The name you give it at that point really does not matter. There’s got to be many more data points in the model and since user assigned name is essentially arbitrary, somehow I don’t think it ranks very high in the determination if at all.

I would posit user assigned name matters most to the data scientist when you have not yet nailed a device. Sense found it, thinks it is a motor, you may agree or not. You tentatively agree its your well pump but provide no additional information and call it BringerOfLife. Not going to get much cred with the data scientist. But if you give it a reasonably accurate name, mark it tentative and provide the other info related to your guess, that’s something worth investigating.

Sometimes I even go a little further and provide a little connectivity description in the notes, if warranted. Example: I have a shop vac with a power controller. I also have a chop saw and an orbital sander. Plug in either to the vac and it automatically turns on when you turn on the attached device. Sense found the vac/sander combo, but not the vac or sander alone or the vac/saw combo. I put all this in the notes with model numbers. It has gotten better, but not yet correct. Plus the tools move between the shop and garage, so different circuits and thus different but similar profiles. Difficult problem. And all of this is marked tentative.

But back to your original query: What is a reasonably accurate name? In a nutshell, IMHO it almost does not matter.

Number 5 is alive (almost). Need more input! (but as usual, I ramble…)


@jdkarlen, thanks for checking! When it comes to naming devices, first and foremost, we want the name to be what makes sense for and is natural to you. From a data science perspective, it is helpful to have descriptive words in there (eg. Fridge), but there are other data points like category, and make/model that we look at.