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Random effects mixture models for clustering electrical load series


Correspondence to: Min Tsao, Department of Mathematics & Statistics, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V8W 3R4.


For purposes such as rate setting and long-term capacity planning, electrical utility companies are interested in dividing their customers into homogeneous groups or clusters in terms of the customers’ electricity demand profiles. Such demand profiles are typically represented by load series, long time series of daily or even hourly rates of energy consumption of individual customers. The high dimension and time series nature inherent in the load series render existing methods of clustering analysis ineffective. To handle the high dimension and to take advantage of the time-series nature of load series, we introduce a class of mixture models for time series, the random effects mixture models, which are particularly useful for clustering the load series. The random effects mixture models are based on a hierarchical model for individual components. They employ highly flexible antedependence models to effectively capture the time-series characteristics of the covariance of the load series. We present details on the construction of such mixture models and discuss a special Expectation-maximization (EM) algorithm for their computation. We also apply these models to cluster the data set which had motivated this research, a set of 923 load series from BC Hydro, a crown utility company in British Columbia, Canada.