Learning Active Constraints to Efficiently Solve Linear Bilevel Problems: Application to the Generator Strategic Bidding Problem

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Abstract

Bilevel programming can be used to formulate many problems in the field of power systems, such as strategic bidding. However, common reformulations of bilevel problems to mixed-integer linear programs make solving such problems hard, which impedes their implementation in real-life. In this paper, we significantly improve solution speed and tractability by introducing decision trees to learn the active constraints of the lower-level problem, while avoiding to introduce binaries and big-M constants. The application of machine learning reduces the online solving time, by moving the selection of active constraints to an offline process, and becomes particularly beneficial when the same problem has to be solved multiple times. We apply our approach to the strategic bidding of generators in electricity markets, where generators solve the same problem many times for varying load demand or renewable production. Three methods are developed and applied to the problem of a strategic generator, with a DCOPF in the lower-level. These methods are heuristic and as so, do not provide guarantees of optimality or solution quality. Yet, we show that for networks of varying sizes, the computational burden is significantly reduced, while we also manage to find solutions for strategic bidding problems that were previously intractable.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Systems
Pages (from-to)1-11
ISSN0885-8950
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023

Keywords

  • Bilevel programming
  • Costs
  • Games
  • Generators
  • Machine learning
  • Power systems
  • Runtime
  • Stackelberg games
  • Voltage

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