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Testing Branching Process Estimators of Cascading Failure with Data from a Simulation of Transmission Line Outages

Authors

  • Ian Dobson,

    Corresponding author
      Address correspondence to Ian Dobson, Professor, ECE Department, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 1415 Engineering Drive, Madison, WI 53706, USA; tel: (608) 262 2661; fax: (608) 262 1267; dobson@engr.wisc.edu.
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      Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, WI 53706 USA.

  • Janghoon Kim,

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      Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, WI 53706 USA.

  • Kevin R. Wierzbicki

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      Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, WI 53706 USA.


Address correspondence to Ian Dobson, Professor, ECE Department, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 1415 Engineering Drive, Madison, WI 53706, USA; tel: (608) 262 2661; fax: (608) 262 1267; dobson@engr.wisc.edu.

Abstract

We suggest a statistical estimator to quantify the propagation of cascading transmission line failures in large blackouts of electric power systems. We use a Galton-Watson branching process model of cascading failure and the standard Harris estimator of the mean propagation modified to work when the process saturates at a maximum number of components. If the mean number of initial failures and the mean propagation are estimated, then the branching process model predicts the distribution of the total number of failures. We initially test this prediction on failure data generated by a simulation of cascading transmission line outages on two standard test systems. We discuss the effectiveness of the estimator in terms of how many cascades need to be simulated to predict the distribution of the total number of line outages accurately.

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