Abstract-Wind power is gaining in significance as an important renewable source of clean energy. However, due to their inherent uncertainty, wind generators are often unable to participate in the forward electricity markets like the more predictable and controllable conventional generators. Given this, virtual power plants (VPPs) are being advocated as a solution for increasing the reliability of such intermittent renewable sources. In this paper, we take this idea further by considering VPPs as coalitions of wind generators and electric vehicles, where wind generators seek to use electric vehicles (EVs) as a storage medium to overcome the vagaries of generation. Using electric vehicles in this manner has the advantage that, since the number of EVs is increasing rapidly, no initial investment in dedicated storage is needed. In more detail, we first formally model the VPP and then, through an operational model based on linear programming, we show how the supply to the Grid and storage in the EV batteries can be scheduled to increase the profit of the VPP, while also paying for the storage using a novel scheme. The feasibility of our approach is examined through a realistic case-study, using real wind power generation data, corresponding electricity market prices and electric vehicles' characteristics.
Self-organising multi-agent systems provide a suitable paradigm for developing autonomic computing systems that manage themselves. Towards this goal, we demonstrate a robust, decentralised approach for structural adaptation in explicitly modelled problem solving agent organisations. Based on self-organisation principles, our method enables the autonomous agents to modify their structural relations to achieve a better allocation of tasks in a simulated task-solving environment. Specifically, the agents reason about when and how to adapt using only their history of interactions as guidance. We empirically show that, in a wide range of closed, open, static and dynamic scenarios, the performance of organisations using our method is close (70 − 90%) to that of an idealised centralised allocation method and is considerably better (10 − 60%) than the current state of the art decentralised approaches.
Virtual Power Plants (VPPs) are fast emerging as a viable means of integrating small and distributed energy resources (DERs), like wind and solar, into the electricity supply network (Grid). VPPs are formed via the aggregation of a large number of DERs, so that they exhibit the characteristics of a traditional generator in terms of predictability and robustness. In this work, we promote the formation of such "cooperative" VPPs (CVPPs) using techniques from the field of distributed Artificial Intelligence and game theory. In particular, we design a payment mechanism that encourages DERs to join CVPPs with increased size and visibility to the network operator. Our method is based on strictly proper scoring rules and incentivises the provision of accurate predictions of expected electricity generation from member DERs, which aids in the planning of the supply schedule at the Grid. We empirically evaluate our approach using the real-world setting of 16 commercial wind farms in the UK, and we show that it incentivises real DERs to form CVPPs, and outperforms the current state of the art payment mechanism developed for this problem.
Abstract. Autonomic computing is being advocated as a tool for maintaining and managing large and complex computing systems. Self-organising multi-agent systems provide a suitable paradigm for developing such autonomic systems. Towards this goal, we demonstrate a robust, decentralised approach for structural adaptation in explicitly modelled problem solving agent organisations. Our method is based on self-organisation principles and enables the agents to modify the organisational structure to achieve a better allocation of tasks across the organisation in a simulated task-solving environment. The agents forge and dissolve relations with other agents using their history of interactions as guidance. We empirically show that the efficiency of organisations using our approach is close to that of organisations having an omniscient central allocator and considerably better than static organisations or those changing the structure randomly.
This paper reports on a novel decentralised technique for planning agent schedules in dynamic task allocation problems. Specifically, we use a stochastic game formulation of these problems in which tasks have varying hard deadlines and processing requirements. We then introduce a new technique for approximating this game using a series of static potential games, before detailing a decentralised method for solving the approximating games that uses the distributed stochastic algorithm. Finally, we discuss an implementation of our approach to a task allocation problem in the RoboCup Rescue disaster management simulator. The results show that our technique performs comparably to a centralised task scheduler (within 6% on average), and also, unlike its centralised counterpart, it is robust to restrictions on the agents' communication and observation ranges.
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