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Typical Patterns, Atypical Events, and Uncertainty in Complex Systems

[+] Author Affiliations
Brett G. Amidan, Thomas A. Ferryman

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA

Paper No. PVP2011-57659, pp. 997-1004; 8 pages
  • ASME 2011 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Volume 6: Materials and Fabrication, Parts A and B
  • Baltimore, Maryland, USA, July 17–21, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4456-4
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


The power grid is a complex system. Multiple quantities are measured from hundreds of locations, at rates up to 30 Hz. There are both correlated and uncorrelated variables. Powerful methods are needed to examine this large amount of data and better understand the complex system, and in the case of the power grid, identify imminent adverse events, such as blackouts. These methods need to sift through any multicollinearity among the variables, account for the random uncertainty that is present within each variable, and focus on practical differences as defined by domain experts in addition to statistical differences. These methods will then help the user to better understand the complex system by uncovering the hidden gems within the data. These gems include identification of the uncertainty, characterization of the typical patterns, and the discovery of atypical events. This paper will discuss the intricate methods used to explore the data, and the novel displays used to communicate the findings. This paper will also delve into the exploration of other complex systems, like aviation safety, using similar methods.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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