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Earlier this month, Dr. Ali Abur visited EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland. He spent four days in discussion with the power systems group faculty and researchers. Dr. Abur also gave a talk titled "Some Applications of Sparse Estimation In Power Grids" on May 7th. 

Ali-Abur-NEU.pngAbstract: Sparse estimation problems show up in many engineering projects where the measurements are few compared to the unknown variables to be estimated with the additional information that majority of the unknowns are expected to be exactly zero. Such problems can be shown to exist in power grid operation by reformulating the problems to transform the unknown vector into a sparse array by exploiting the special structure of the power network equations. In this talk we will describe two such problems. The first one considers identification of branch outages for grids which are not fully observable. Possible cases include identification of outages in external systems from which a very limited number of real-time measurements are typically available. The problem of line outage identification will be formulated as a sparse selection problem and will be solved by a mixed integer programming algorithm. The second application considers fault identification and location in power grids where synchronized voltage measurements are sparsely available at a limited number of buses. Fault location and identification is first formulated as a sparse regression problem and then solved using the least absolute selection and shrinkage operator (lasso) algorithm. The approach appears to work irrespective of the fault type and branch configuration. These and other similar applications are expected to motivate further work in effective utilization of synchrophasors which are quickly populating power grids all around the globe.

Biography: Ali Abur obtained his B.S. degree from Orta Do?u Teknik ?niversitesi, Ankara, Turkey in 1979 and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from The Ohio State University in 1981 and 1985 respectively. He was a faculty member at Texas A&M University until November 2005 when he joined the faculty of Northeastern University as a Professor and served as the chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department until September 2013.