Distributed electricity producers, such as small wind farms and solar installations, pose several technical and economic challenges in Smart Grid design. One approach to addressing these challenges is through Broker Agents who buy electricity from distributed producers, and also sell electricity to consumers, via a Tariff Market--a new market mechanism where Broker Agents publish concurrent bid and ask prices. We investigate the learning of pricing strategies for an autonomous Broker Agent to profitably participate in a Tariff Market. We employ Markov Decision Processes (MDPs) and reinforcement learning. An important concern with this method is that even simple representations of the problem domain result in very large numbers of states in the MDP formulation because market prices can take nearly arbitrary real values. In this paper, we present the use of derived state space features, computed using statistics on Tariff Market prices and Broker Agent customer portfolios, to obtain a scalable state representation. We also contribute a set of pricing tactics that form building blocks in the learned Broker Agent strategy. We further present a Tariff Market simulation model based on real-world data and anticipated market dynamics. We use this model to obtain experimental results that show the learned strategy performing vastly better than a random strategy and significantly better than two other non-learning strategies.
Sustainable resource management in many domains presents large continuous stochastic optimization problems, which can often be modeled as Markov decision processes (MDPs). To solve such large MDPs, we identify and leverage linearity in state and action sets that is common in resource management. In particular, we introduce linear dynamic programs (LDPs) that generalize resource management problems and partially observable MDPs (POMDPs). We show that the LDP framework makes it possible to adapt point-based methods--the state of the art in solving POMDPs--to solving LDPs. The experimental results demonstrate the efficiency of this approach in managing the water level of a river reservoir. Finally, we discuss the relationship with dual dynamic programming, a method used to optimize hydroelectric systems.
Forecasting multivariate time series data, such as prediction of electricity consumption, solar power production, and polyphonic piano pieces, has numerous valuable applications. However, complex and non-linear interdependencies between time steps and series complicate the task. To obtain accurate prediction, it is crucial to model long-term dependency in time series data, which can be achieved to some good extent by recurrent neural network (RNN) with attention mechanism. Typical attention mechanism reviews the information at each previous time step and selects the relevant information to help generate the outputs, but it fails to capture the temporal patterns across multiple time steps. In this paper, we propose to use a set of filters to extract time-invariant temporal patterns, which is similar to transforming time series data into its "frequency domain". Then we proposed a novel attention mechanism to select relevant time series, and use its "frequency domain" information for forecasting. We applied the proposed model on several real-world tasks and achieved the state-of-the-art performance in all of them with only one exception. We also show that to some degree the learned filters play the role of bases in discrete Fourier transform.
DNV GL operates globally across a range of industries to provide trust and help stakeholders understand and manage risks. The company has over 2,200 experts providing advice for renewable generation, transmission, distribution and energy management and efficiency. The work they do ranges from testing high voltage grid components to bankability assessments to allow solar farms to be financed. Their latest research showcases the insight related to how drone technology and computer vision can help with inspections while also providing a global outlook to 2050. We wanted to learn more about the energy innovations DNV GL is exploring and utilizing, so we talked with Elizabeth Traiger, Senior Researcher, Power & Renewables DK & GB at DNV GL – Energy.