26. – 31. Oktober 2014, Dagstuhl-Seminar 14441

Modeling, Verification, and Control of Complex Systems for Energy Networks


Alessandro Abate (University of Oxford, GB)
Martin Fränzle (Universität Oldenburg, DE)
Ian Hiskens (University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, US)
Martin Strelec (UWB – Pilsen, CZ)

Auskunft zu diesem Dagstuhl-Seminar erteilt

Dagstuhl Service Team


Dagstuhl Report, Volume 4, Issue 10 Dagstuhl Report
Gemeinsame Dokumente

Executive Summary

The seminar has been focused on a number of selected topics from energy networks, with an emphasis on power systems that have great societal and economical relevance and impact. These represent systems of considerable engineering interest, since:

  • they can be large-scale and can involve numbers of various devices interconnected in a complex manner.
  • they are heterogeneous, that is they can be naturally modelled through a combination of continuous dynamical elements (to capture the evolution of quantities such as voltages, frequencies and generation output) and discrete dynamical components (to capture changes in the network topology, controller logic, state of breakers, isolation devices, transformer taps, etc.).
  • they involve substantial stochastic components. Sources of uncertainty traditionally considered in power networks include hardware faults and unforeseen events, as well as stochasticity arising from continuous processes, particularly power demand. Furthermore, the increasing availability of renewable energy sources (e.g. photovoltaic panels, wind turbines, etc.) implies that uncertainty (for example, uncertainty in weather forecasts or cloud cover) also enters at the power supply side.
  • some variables are only partially observable due to absence of real-time sensing circuitry in large parts of the existing power distribution network.

Reasonable and accurate analysis of future power networks needs models that seamlessly integrate behavioural patterns like complex interaction of continuous electrical phenomena (e.g. power flows) related to connected devices, discrete events caused by switching behaviour in circuitry, commitment of supplies and loads or by decisions of market participants, and the inherently stochastic behaviour of volatile supplies, demands and market prices.

In summary, the aim of the seminar has been to survey existing and explore novel formal frameworks for modelling, analysis and control of complex, large scale systems, with emphasis on applications in power networks. The seminar has hosted researchers and practitioners working on energy network application domains, in order to import related techniques for the study of energy grids in general, their analysis and energy management, which consists in control, coordination and dispatch of multiple generation, consumption and storage devices connected to the grid. Interactions among scientists and professionals from the heterogeneous research and application fields focused on power networks has highlighted opportunities for further research concerning expressiveness of models and scalability of the methods, as well as point to related efforts in the power network community.

General comments

The Seminar has run over the last week of October 2014 (27 to 31), has been well attended throughout the week, with about 40 participants. It has featured a fully packed program made up of presentations (at least 30), sustained discussions, and breakout sessions on three different topics. A final discussion session has concluded the proceedings of this event.

While the presence from academia has been preponderant, we have also been happy to see a number of active participants from the industry. The attendants expertise has been quite diverse. Academic participants have come with backgrounds in verification, control, and power systems. Alongside the participated and very open discussions, the seminar has additionally featured a hike and a dinner at a local restaurant.


Talks have been categorised within the following clusters: Theory and Tools from Control; Theory and Tools from Verification; Topics in Power Networks; Smart/Micro Grids and Buildings.

Beyond these clusters, we have tried to diversify the program in order to optimally engage the audience. Discussions have been fostered via an afternoon breakout session, organised on Tuesday, the social activities on Wednesday afternoon, and the final session on Friday in the late morning.

There have been three breakout sessions, focusing respectively on

  • modelling issues in energy/power systems;
  • simulation issues in energy/power systems;
  • demand response: control and verification.

The topics elaborated during the sessions are discussed in the ensuing sections, which report the notes that have come out of the discussions.

  Creative Commons BY 3.0 Unported license
  Alessandro Abate and Martin Strelec


  • Modelling / Simulation
  • Optimization / Scheduling
  • Semantics / Formal Methods


  • Analysis / control / verification of complex stochastic systems
  • Formal synthesis
  • Reliability engineering and assessment
  • Energy networks


Bücher der Teilnehmer 

Buchausstellung im Erdgeschoss der Bibliothek

(nur in der Veranstaltungswoche).


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