Agent based modelling of distribution systems

Agent based modelling of distribution systems
Cruz E. Borges Hernández
DeustoTech [1] is a private non-profit institution of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Deusto for applied research in new technologies. Since 2005 DeustoTech mission is to support the ICT activity in business and society through research, the development of technologies, innovation and knowledge transfer. We focus our activity around TRLs 2-7 and articulate it into four applied fields: Industry, Mobility, Energy and Environment and Societal Challenges, having a fifth, the Chair of Applied Mathematics, as a transversal activity and support for the previous four. We are characterized for working with data of heterogeneous nature, throughout its life cycle and in compliance with ethical principles and humanists who define the University of Deusto. Within DeustoTech, the Energy & Environment [2] host a multidisciplinary team that contribute to develop more efficient and sustainable processes, novel technologies and methods for sustainable urban planning and operation in the fields of prompt alarm systems, advanced monitoring systems, agent-based modelling, optimal operation and control of complex supply networks, decision support tools, etc. [1] [2]
The candidate would be integrated in a highly multidisciplinary research group. As such it is of utter importance the communication skills and their ability to understand the different perspectives that the research topic have. Moreover, experience in one or more of the following fields in needed: * Knowledge of a object oriented language. * Knowledge of artificial intelligence model techniques. * Experience with distribution networks models.
  • Information Sciences and Engineering (ENG)
Multi-Agent Systems (MAS) have been an active area of research in the last three decades. What started as isolated systems for simple problem-solving have turned into full-scale simulation platforms that are able to integrate several state of the art technologies. In this research proposal we aim to continue developing GeoWorldSim platform [1] to include new functionalities to expand our uses cases: * Gridification of the platform: GeoWorldSim is actually a massive parallel platform that works using a publish-subscribe paradigm. From this point it is easy to port it to be able to run in a cluster. Nevertheless it is needed to study how to minimize the amount of information exchanged. * Integrate the platform with IoT deployments to create a mixed environment: actually a smart ambient lab is deployed at our premises. It would be quite interesting if GeoWorldSim could be used as a predictive control system of the smart lab. * Integration of evolutionary algorithms and MAS: MAS platforms could be use not only to understand phenomena but also to optimize complex situations. Evolutionary algorithms seems the perfect way to do such optimizations. The objective is to built a simulation platform for distribution networks that will help urban planners to understand (and optimize) the impact that different policies have on the population. [1]


Diego Casado-Mansilla, et al. (2018) «A Human-centric & Context-aware IoT Framework for Enhancing Energy Efficiency in Buildings of Public Use» In IEEE Access. vol. 6. p. 31444-31456. DOI: 10.1109/ACCESS.2018.2837141. Ander Pijoan Lamas, et al. (2018) «Transport Choice Modeling for the Evaluation of New Transport Policies» In Sustainability. vol. 10. DOI: 10.3390/su10041230. O. Kamara-Esteban et al. (2017) “MASSHA: An agent-based approach for human activity simulation in intelligent environments”. Pervasive and Mobile Computing, 40, pp. 279-300. DOI: 10.1016/j.pmcj.2017.07.007 O. Kamara-Esteban et al. (2017) On-demand energy monitoring and response architecture in a ubiquitous world. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 21 (3), pp. 537-551. DOI: 10.1007/s00779-017-1014-4 Cruz E. Borges et al. (2013) «Evaluating combined load forecasting in large power systems and smart grids» In IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics. vol. 9. p. 1570-1577. DOI: 10.1109/TII.2012.2219063.
H2020 – GREENSOUL (Persuasive Eco-awareness for User Engagement through Networked Data Devices). GA 696129. UDEUSTO is developing and testing a set of persuasion mechanism to reduce the energy consumption in public buildings. H2020 – WASTE WASTE4THINK (Moving towards Life Cycle Thinking by Integrating Advanced Waste Management Systems) – GA 688995. UDEUSTO coordinates this project with the main objective of moving forward the current waste management practices into a circular economy motto, demonstrating the value of integrating and validating several eco-innovative solutions that cover all the waste value chain. H2020 – PARITY (Pro-sumer AwaRe, Transactive Markets for Valorization of Distributed flexibilITY enabled by Smart Energy Contracts) – GA 864319. UDEUSTO is developing a socioeconomic model of the barriers that hinder the participation on flexibility markets. H2020 – ATELIER (AmsTErdam BiLbao cItizen drivEn smaRt cities) – GA 864374. UDEUSTO will, apart of on carry on several actions to foster energy efficiency and the deployment of renewable energy energy sources, perform the environmental monitoring of the project. EMEurope – ElectricTravelling (Platform to support the implementation of electromobility in Smart Cities based on ICT applications) – ID 6. UDEUSTO is developing a set of tools to estimate the environmental and social impact of the electrification of the transport sector.


The proposal clearly fits in the core objectives of the Interdisciplinary Research Platform “B-Creative advanced research on creative industries and cities” in particular, it will mix knowledge of the following fields: * Civil Engineering and Architects: urban planning have been traditionally understood by civil engineers and architects. The objective is to introduce this knowledge in a tool that will help other stakeholders to understand the urban planning. * Computer Science and Telecommunications: standardization and interoperability issues will need to have some skills about computer science and telecommunications. GIS-based systems and mapping will also be used. * Sociology and Psychology: demand patterns need to be understood and some sociology and psychology will be needed to be able to foster new habits. The combination of these disciplines will make possible the assessment of the tools and the multicriteria evaluation of the results.
The candidate will work on a highly interdisciplinary group where all the previous knowledge will be worked on. In particular, the candidate will collaborate with researchers of different background (mathematicians, engineers, experts in behaviour change, interface designers, Internet of Things, and social scientists) in order to achieve the objectives of the project. Moreover, the candidate can collaborate in international research projects like ATELIER.


The topic is a cross-sectional topic covered in several of the calls in H2020. See for example: * Secure, clean and efficient energy. * Smart, green and integrated transport. * Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials. * Cross cutting priorities. Moreover, if a usable prototype have been built at the end of the research period, the SME instrument or the FTI call can be used to bring to market the product. Several of the SDG are related to cities and urban planning. The main one is the 11th but it also has strong links with the 6th, 7th, 9th and 13th. Finally, there is a long list of european policies related to energy, water, transport and waste distribution networks.


The Smart Specialisation Strategy from the Euskadi Region has as one transversal priorities the research on the smartization of the territory. On this topic, DeustoTech maintains good relationship with several public entities that manage critical infrastructure. In particular: * Local and regional public authorities. * DSO, water utility company and waste collection utility. * Engineering firms and sustainability consultants.


The results of the project will be directly incorporated in GeoWorldSim, the multi agent simulation platform developed by the hosting institution. The platform is currently used by different stakeholders (research institutions, SMEs and large enterprises and public authorities) in several projects that covers all stages of the research spectrum (in a pure research context until in commercial environment). The results of this projects will be added to the portfolio of features that GeoWorldSim has and will be advertised in conjunction with the rest of the solution. Moreover, the results will be presented to other stakeholders in order to be incorporated in other points of the value chain. For example, the results will be presented to: the regional agency for energy and other public agencies in order to assess potential up-scale actions or the definition of new policies / grants. the local and regional governments to improve the urban planning. DSOs and other utilities in order to assess to incorporate to their planning department.


This research will be the first step in the development of products that will ease the impact assessment of different policies over the different distribution networks. Different use cases have already been deployed, but the improvement to be carried out would allow the tool to perform holistics assessment taking into consideration all distribution networks at the same time and also to cover more territory.


One of the University of Deusto’s key duties is to be fully aware of problems within the institution itself and the society we live in. For this reason, it should take specific steps to boost integration and real equality of opportunity for people with specific support needs. Timely specific action is required to enable them to enter higher education in equal conditions and ensure their full integration in the university community. DeustoTech, as one of its institutions, is included into this service of social action and inclusion. The main aims consist of achieving full normalisation, equal opportunities and gradually adopting the steps needed to ensure that the University of Deusto is an inclusive educational institution. Furthermore, the University of Deusto provides them with guidance and support on the transition to the labour market jointly with special job centres and companies at large. In this project this policy will be fully taken into account. In fact, agents will be created in an inclusive way including factors like the gender, the socio-economic status, the functional diversity, the cultural background, etc. User models for every profile should have to be created and conclusions for every group should be made. Finally, an holistic assessment have to be made not only contrasting the results but also assessing interventions that works in an inclusive way.