Sensitivity analysis of the power grid vulnerability to large-scale cascading failures

Andrey Bernstein, Daniel Bienstock, David Hay, Meric Uzunoglu, Gil Zussman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


This paper revisits models of cascading failures in the transmission system of the power grid. It has been recently shown that since power flows are governed by the laws of physics, these models significantly differ from epidemic/percolationbased models. Yet, while some numerical results have been recently obtained based on these models, there is a need to investigate the sensitivity of the results to various parameters and to evaluate the models' accuracy. In this paper, through numerical experiments with real grid data, we study the effects of geographically correlated outages and the resulting cascades. We consider a wide range of parameters, such as the power lines' Factor of Safety and the sensitivity of the lines to power flow spikes. Moreover, we compare our numerical results to the actual events in a recent blackout in the San Diego area (Sept. 2011), thereby demonstrating that the model's predictions are consistent with real events. Copyright is held by author/owner(s).

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)33-37
Number of pages5
JournalPerformance Evaluation Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2012


  • Cascading failures
  • Geographically-correlated failures
  • Power grid
  • Resilience
  • Survivability


Dive into the research topics of 'Sensitivity analysis of the power grid vulnerability to large-scale cascading failures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this