Poster Abstract: Distributed Reasoning for Diagnosing Cascading Outages in Cyber Physical Energy Systems


The power grid incorporates a number of protection elements such as distance relays that detect faults and prevent the propagation of failure effects from influencing the rest of system. However, the decision of these protection elements is only influenced by local information in the form of bus voltage/current (V-I) samples. Due to lack of system wide perspective, erroneous settings, and latent failure modes, protection devices often mis-operate and cause cascading effects that ultimately lead to blackouts. Blackouts around the world have been triggered or worsened by circuit breakers tripping, including the blackout of 2003 in North America, where the secondary/ remote protection relays incorrectly opened the breaker. Tools that aid the operators in finding the root cause of the problem on-line are required. However, high system complexity and the interdependencies between the cyber and physical elements of the system and the mis-operation of protection devices make the failure diagnosis a challenging problem.

7th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Cyber-Physical Systems, ICCPS 2016, Vienna, Austria, April 11-14, 2016