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Vicki M. Bier, Eli Robert Gratz, Naraphorn

J. Haphuriwat, and Wairimu Magua
Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Kevin R. Wierzbicki
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of Wisconsin-Madison
The objectives of the project are to:

Develop a simple, inexpensive, and

practical method for identifying
promising interdiction strategies
Compare our method and results with
those of other proposed approaches for
vulnerability assessment
Study the effectiveness of protecting
transmission lines
System Topology

We use the IEEE Reliability Test

System 1996 (RTS-96):
Representative of typical systems

We base our analysis on decoupled

load (DC) flow with optimal dispatch
System Topology
We model the RTS-96 systems
as networks consisting of:

24 nodes and 38 arcs for the

One Area RTS-96
48 nodes and 79 arcs for the
Two Area RTS-96
Schematic View of Process

Load-Flow Algorithm
(Determine optimal DC power dispatch)

Max Line Interdiction Algorithm

(Interdict the line with maximum flow,
and any lines in close geographical proximity)

Hardening Algorithm
(Make the first n sets of interdicted lines
from the Max Line algorithm invulnerable)

(after a pre-determined
number of iterations)
Other Approaches
The method of Apostolakis and
Lemon (2005) applies only to
distribution networks (with one-
directional flows)

Salmeron et al. (2004) use a non-

linear nested optimization method
that is difficult to solve
Results (One Area RTS-96)


Attacked:11% Load shed: 56%

Load shed: 44%

Results (Two Area RTS-96)


Results contd

The Max Line MaxLine Salmeron

interdiction strategy
reasonably 64 21&19
approximates the load 30 22
19&21 24
shed by Salmeron et 78&78 27&28
al. 23 30
The transmission lines 41 38&39
52 61&59
interdicted by 11 62
Salmeron et al. differ 74&73 69
from those interdicted 34&35 72&79
21 77&78
by our strategy
Results (Random Interdiction)
We apply the hardening algorithm to
simulate an upgrade of the system

H0 represents the original interdiction


H1, H2, and H3 show the interdiction

strategies obtained after three iterations
of hardening
Results (One Area RTS-96)

Strategy H0 results in a loss of 56%

Strategy H3, hardening 39% of all lines, results in a loss of 42%

Results (Two Area RTS-96)

Strategy H0 results in a loss of 56%

Strategy H3, hardening 39% of all lines, results in a loss of 39%

Our results cast doubt on the claim by Salmeron et al.:

By considering the largest possible disruptions, our

proposed plan will be appropriately conservative

Hardening even a significant percentage of lines does

not dramatically diminish the load shed by an attack

Hardening seems unlikely to be cost effective!

We developed a simple, inexpensive, and
viable method of identifying promising
attack strategies
Our results are comparable to those of
Salmeron et al.
A single run of either method will not be
sufficient to identify critical vulnerabilities
Hardening of transmission lines is unlikely
to be cost effective
Directions for Future Research

In future research, this method could

be extended to:

Address other components of transmission

systems, such as transformers
Identify strategies that may trigger

cascading power failures

Take into account the importance of
different loads
Apply to other types of systems, such as

structures, water, and transportation

This material is based upon work supported in part by:

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory and the U.S. Army Research
Office under grant number DAAD19-01-1-0502

The National Science Foundation under grant number ECS-0214369

The Department of Homeland Security under grant number EMW-


Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed

in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect
the views of the sponsors.

The authors would like to thank Prof. Ian Dobson of the University of
Wisconsin-Madison for his contributions to this study.