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Title: Small vulnerable sets determine large network cascades in power grids

The understanding of cascading failures in complex systems has been hindered by the lack of realistic large-scale modeling and analysis that can account for variable system conditions. By using the North American power grid, we identified, quantified, and analyzed the set of network components that are vulnerable to cascading failures under any out of multiple conditions. We show that the vulnerable set consists of a small but topologically central portion of the network and that large cascades are disproportionately more likely to be triggered by initial failures close to this set. These results elucidate aspects of the origins and causes of cascading failures relevant for grid design and operation and demonstrate vulnerability analysis methods that are applicable to a wider class of cascade-prone networks.
Authors:
ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [2] ; ORCiD logo [2]
  1. Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL (United States). Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
  2. Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL (United States). Dept. of Physics and Astronomy and Inst. on Complex Systems
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AR0000702; DMS-1057128
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Science
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 358; Journal Issue: 6365; Journal ID: ISSN 0036-8075
Publisher:
AAAS
Research Org:
Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL (United States). Inst.for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern (ISEN)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E); National Science Foundation (NSF)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
24 POWER TRANSMISSION AND DISTRIBUTION
OSTI Identifier:
1422771

Yang, Yang, Nishikawa, Takashi, and Motter, Adilson E. Small vulnerable sets determine large network cascades in power grids. United States: N. p., Web. doi:10.1126/science.aan3184.
Yang, Yang, Nishikawa, Takashi, & Motter, Adilson E. Small vulnerable sets determine large network cascades in power grids. United States. doi:10.1126/science.aan3184.
Yang, Yang, Nishikawa, Takashi, and Motter, Adilson E. 2017. "Small vulnerable sets determine large network cascades in power grids". United States. doi:10.1126/science.aan3184. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1422771.
@article{osti_1422771,
title = {Small vulnerable sets determine large network cascades in power grids},
author = {Yang, Yang and Nishikawa, Takashi and Motter, Adilson E.},
abstractNote = {The understanding of cascading failures in complex systems has been hindered by the lack of realistic large-scale modeling and analysis that can account for variable system conditions. By using the North American power grid, we identified, quantified, and analyzed the set of network components that are vulnerable to cascading failures under any out of multiple conditions. We show that the vulnerable set consists of a small but topologically central portion of the network and that large cascades are disproportionately more likely to be triggered by initial failures close to this set. These results elucidate aspects of the origins and causes of cascading failures relevant for grid design and operation and demonstrate vulnerability analysis methods that are applicable to a wider class of cascade-prone networks.},
doi = {10.1126/science.aan3184},
journal = {Science},
number = 6365,
volume = 358,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {11}
}