Small vulnerable sets determine large network cascades in power grids

Yang Yang, Takashi Nishikawa*, Adilson E. Motter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

128 Scopus citations

Abstract

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. 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereaan3184
JournalScience
Volume358
Issue number6365
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 17 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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