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The N-k Problem in Power Grids: New Models, Formulations and Numerical Experiments (Extended Version)

Bienstock, Daniel; Verma, Abhinav

Given a power grid modeled by a network together with equations describing the power flows, power generation and consumption, and the laws of physics, the so-called N-k problem asks whether there exists a set of k or fewer arcs whose removal will cause the system to fail. The case where k is small is of practical interest. We present theoretical and computational results involving a mixed-integer model and a continuous nonlinear model related to this question.

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March 17, 2010