2018 journal article
On Characterizing Information Dissemination During City-Wide Cascading Failures in Smart Grid
IEEE SYSTEMS JOURNAL, 12(4), 3404–3413.
Although the smart gird is expected to eliminate cascading failures with the help of real-time system monitoring and control, it is yet unknown whether its underlying communication network is fast and reliable enough to achieve this goal. In this paper, we take an in-depth study on this issue by addressing three specific questions: 1) what is the evolution process of information dissemination and fault propagation in the smart grid?; 2) how to quantify the impact of cascading failures?; and 3) what are the conditions that information dissemination becomes either a booster or an adversary in mitigating cascading failures? To answer these questions, we build an innovative framework, the cascading failure with communications framework, to consolidate both communication networks and power grids, and provide quantitative evaluation on the impact of cascading failures. By studying and observing the progress of cascading failures in two city-wide power grids, we find that information dissemination is not always the winner in the race against fault propagation. Particularly, while fast and reliable communications can help in mitigating the consequences of cascading failures, anomalies such as massage delays may weaken its capability. Moreover, severely under-achieved communications, counter-intuitively, can even exacerbate the consequence of cascading failures.