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Title: Modeling the dynamics of cascading failures in power systems
Authors: Zhang, X 
Zhan, C 
Tse, CK 
Issue Date: Jun-2017
Source: IEEE journal on emerging and selected topics in circuits and systems, June 2017, v. 7, no. 2, p. 192-204
Abstract: In this paper, we use a circuit-based power flow model to study the cascading failure propagation process, and combine it with a stochastic model to describe the uncertain failure time instants, producing a model that gives a complete dynamic profile of the cascading failure propagation beginning from a dysfunctioned component and developing eventually to a large-scale blackout. The sequence of failures is determined by voltage and current stresses of individual elements, which are governed by deterministic circuit equations, while the time durations between failures are described by stochastic processes. The use of stochastic processes here addresses the uncertainties in individual components' physical failure mechanisms, which may depend on manufacturing quality and environmental factors. The element failure rate is related to the extent of overloading. A network-based stochastic model is developed to study the failure propagation dynamics of the entire power network. Simulation results show that our model generates dynamic profiles of cascading failures that contain all salient features displayed in historical blackout data. The proposed model thus offers predictive information about occurrences of large-scale blackouts. We further plot cumulative distribution of the blackout size to assess the overall system's robustness. We show that heavier loads increase the likelihood of large blackouts and that small-world network structure would make cascading failure propagate more widely and rapidly than a regular network structure.
Keywords: Complex network
Power system
Dynamics of cascading failure
Power flow study
Stochastic process
Publisher: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Journal: IEEE journal on emerging and selected topics in circuits and systems 
ISSN: 2156-3357
DOI: 10.1109/JETCAS.2017.2671354
Rights: © 2017 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.
The following publication X. Zhang, C. Zhan and C. K. Tse, "Modeling the Dynamics of Cascading Failures in Power Systems," in IEEE Journal on Emerging and Selected Topics in Circuits and Systems, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 192-204, June 2017 is available at
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