Introduction to hierarchical modeling of complex systems

The energy sector is a totality of interrelated energy industries within the fuel and energy complex. Each of the industries represents a technically and organizationally sophisticated energy (electricity, heat, gas, oil, etc.) system that produces, transports, stores, and distributes a certain type of energy (electricity, heat, gas, etc.) to the consumer. Energy systems are characterized by a complex multiply-connected spatially distributed network structure integrating energy production and consumption plants into a single whole. They play an essential infrastructure role in reliably providing the consumer with the energy of desired quality.

Effective expansion and operation of each energy system; integrated systems, including several jointly operating and developing energy systems; as well as the entire energy; sector require informed decisions on their expansion and control to meet the efficiency criteria set. Given that the tools for making such decisions and control actions are computer-based decision-support systems and automated control systems, modeling of the studied object (energy system, integrated energy systems, and energy sector, i.e. complex energy system) appears to be of paramount importance in terms of the adequacy of decisions to be obtained for the real states and processes in the systems at issue.

The multidimensionality of the studied systems and the complexity of the processes that occur in them, however, often make the original problems of expansion planning and control of complex energy systems, hard to implement for a variety of reasons. These are the time limit for solving the original general problem, the lack of observability required for modeling the system, the uncertainty of the model parameters, and others. Oversimplification, on the other hand, or “emasculation” of the original detailed model of the system can deprive the model of its representative properties necessary to adequately represent the object to be studied. In these contradictory contexts, a real solution for such an insurmountable situation is a hierarchical approach to planning the expansion and control of the complex energy systems and their components. Generally, the hierarchy of problems and decisions based on solutions to these problems is considered in spatial, temporal and functional dimensions. The hierarchy of solutions, in turn, predetermines the hierarchy of interrelated models of the corresponding system and models of operations (decision-support criteria). Hierarchical modeling is also instrumental as a technique for solving complex multidimensional problems.

The collected papers contain a systematized presentation of the experience gained by the Melentiev Energy Systems Institute SB RAS (ESI SB RAS) in the development of a hierarchical approach to modeling the complex energy systems to provide their expansion planning and control. The papers present the results of the studies on the hierarchy in complex energy systems, which mainly summarize the developments of ESI SB RAS in recent years.

A focus is also made on the specific features of modern energy systems as objects of hierarchical modeling and some trends in their development. Existing general methodological approaches to hierarchical modeling of complex systems are analyzed. The generalized methodology of hierarchical modeling of complex energy systems is described. The mathematical methods of hierarchical modeling of complex systems exemplified by the energy sector are considered. The hierarchical modeling for different problems of complex energy systems is demonstrated.

N.I.Voropai
Editor-in-Chief
of Energy Systems Research Journal

Published: 2020-01-25

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