Unit Commitment Predictor With a Performance Guarantee: A Support Vector Machine Classifier

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The system operators usually need to solve large-scale unit commitment problems within limited time frame for computation. This paper provides a pragmatic solution, showing how by learning and predicting the on/off commitment decisions of conventional units, there is a potential for system operators to warm start their solver and speed up their computation significantly. For the prediction, we train linear and kernelized support vector machine classifiers, providing an out-of-sample performance guarantee if properly regularized, converting to distributionally robust classifiers. For the unit commitment problem, we solve a mixed-integer second-order cone problem. Our results based on the IEEE 6- and 118-bus test systems show that the kernelized SVM with proper regularization outperforms other classifiers, reducing the computational time by a factor of 1.7. In addition, if there is a tight computational limit, while the unit commitment problem without warm start is far away from the optimal solution, its warmly-started version can be solved to (near) optimality within the time limit.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Systems
Number of pages13
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Unit commitment
  • Support vector machine
  • Gaussian kernel function
  • Conic programming
  • Warm start


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