Large-scale critical infrastructure systems, including energy and transportation networks, comprise millions of individual elements (human, software and hardware) whose actions may be inconsequential in isolation but profoundly important in aggregate. The focus of this project is on the coordination of these elements via ubiquitous sensing, communications, computation, and control, with an emphasis on the electric grid. The project integrates ideas from economics and behavioral science into frameworks grounded in control theory and power systems. Our central construct is that of a ?resource cluster,? a collection of distributed resources (ex: solar PV, storage, deferrable loads) that can be coordinated to efficiently and reliably offer services (ex: power delivery) in the face of uncertainty (ex: PV output, consumer behavior). Three topic areas form the core of the project: (a) the theoretical foundations for the ?cluster manager? concept and complementary tools to characterize the capabilities of a resource cluster; (b) centralized resource coordination strategies that span multiple time scales via innovations in stochastic optimal control theory; and (c) decentralized coordination strategies based on cluster manager incentives and built upon foundations of non-cooperative dynamic game theory.
These innovations will improve the operation of infrastructure systems via a cyber-physical-social approach to the problem of resource allocation in complex infrastructures. By transforming the role of humans from passive resource recipients to active participants in the electric power system, the project will facilitate energy security for the nation, and climate change mitigation. The project will also engage K-12 students through lab-visits and lectures; address the undergraduate demand for power systems training through curricular innovations at the intersection of cyber-systems engineering and physical power systems; and equip graduate students with the multi-disciplinary training in power systems, communications, control, optimization and economics to become leaders in innovation.