Models, code, and papers for "Baosen Zhang":

Energy Storage Arbitrage in Real-Time Markets via Reinforcement Learning

Feb 23, 2018
Hao Wang, Baosen Zhang

In this paper, we derive a temporal arbitrage policy for storage via reinforcement learning. Real-time price arbitrage is an important source of revenue for storage units, but designing good strategies have proven to be difficult because of the highly uncertain nature of the prices. Instead of current model predictive or dynamic programming approaches, we use reinforcement learning to design an optimal arbitrage policy. This policy is learned through repeated charge and discharge actions performed by the storage unit through updating a value matrix. We design a reward function that does not only reflect the instant profit of charge/discharge decisions but also incorporate the history information. Simulation results demonstrate that our designed reward function leads to significant performance improvement compared with existing algorithms.

* 2018 IEEE PES General Meeting (GM) 

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An Optimal Treatment Assignment Strategy to Evaluate Demand Response Effect

May 02, 2017
Pan Li, Baosen Zhang

Demand response is designed to motivate electricity customers to modify their loads at critical time periods. The accurate estimation of impact of demand response signals to customers' consumption is central to any successful program. In practice, learning these response is nontrivial because operators can only send a limited number of signals. In addition, customer behavior also depends on a large number of exogenous covariates. These two features lead to a high dimensional inference problem with limited number of observations. In this paper, we formulate this problem by using a multivariate linear model and adopt an experimental design approach to estimate the impact of demand response signals. We show that randomized assignment, which is widely used to estimate the average treatment effect, is not efficient in reducing the variance of the estimator when a large number of covariates is present. In contrast, we present a tractable algorithm that strategically assigns demand response signals to customers. This algorithm achieves the optimal reduction in estimation variance, independent of the number of covariates. The results are validated from simulations on synthetic data.

* A shorter version appeared in Proceedings of the 2016 Allerton Conference 

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Bayesian Renewables Scenario Generation via Deep Generative Networks

Feb 02, 2018
Yize Chen, Pan Li, Baosen Zhang

We present a method to generate renewable scenarios using Bayesian probabilities by implementing the Bayesian generative adversarial network~(Bayesian GAN), which is a variant of generative adversarial networks based on two interconnected deep neural networks. By using a Bayesian formulation, generators can be constructed and trained to produce scenarios that capture different salient modes in the data, allowing for better diversity and more accurate representation of the underlying physical process. Compared to conventional statistical models that are often hard to scale or sample from, this method is model-free and can generate samples extremely efficiently. For validation, we use wind and solar times-series data from NREL integration data sets to train the Bayesian GAN. We demonstrate that proposed method is able to generate clusters of wind scenarios with different variance and mean value, and is able to distinguish and generate wind and solar scenarios simultaneously even if the historical data are intentionally mixed.

* Paper accepted to Annual Conference on Information Sciences and Systems (CISS) 

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Online Active Linear Regression via Thresholding

Dec 21, 2016
Carlos Riquelme, Ramesh Johari, Baosen Zhang

We consider the problem of online active learning to collect data for regression modeling. Specifically, we consider a decision maker with a limited experimentation budget who must efficiently learn an underlying linear population model. Our main contribution is a novel threshold-based algorithm for selection of most informative observations; we characterize its performance and fundamental lower bounds. We extend the algorithm and its guarantees to sparse linear regression in high-dimensional settings. Simulations suggest the algorithm is remarkably robust: it provides significant benefits over passive random sampling in real-world datasets that exhibit high nonlinearity and high dimensionality --- significantly reducing both the mean and variance of the squared error.

* Published in AAAI 2017 

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Fast Calculation of Probabilistic Power Flow: A Model-based Deep Learning Approach

Jun 14, 2019
Yan Yang, Zhifang Yang, Juan Yu, Baosen Zhang

Probabilistic power flow (PPF) plays a critical role in the analysis of power systems. However, its high computational burden makes practical implementations challenging. This paper proposes a model-based deep learning approach to overcome these computational challenges. A deep neural network (DNN) is used to approximate the power flow calculation process, and is trained according to the physical power flow equations to improve its learning ability. The training process consists of several steps: 1) the branch flows are added into the objective function of the DNN as a penalty term, which improves the generalization ability of the DNN; 2) the gradients used in back propagation are simplified according to the physical characteristics of the transmission grid, which accelerates the training speed while maintaining effective guidance of the physical model; and 3) an improved initialization method for the DNN parameters is proposed to improve the convergence speed. The simulation results demonstrate the accuracy and efficiency of the proposed method in standard IEEE and utility benchmark systems.

* Submitted to IEEE Transaction on Smartgrid 

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Distribution System Voltage Control under Uncertainties using Tractable Chance Constraints

Nov 06, 2018
Pan Li, Baihong Jin, Dai Wang, Baosen Zhang

Voltage control plays an important role in the operation of electricity distribution networks, especially with high penetration of distributed energy resources. These resources introduce significant and fast varying uncertainties. In this paper, we focus on reactive power compensation to control voltage in the presence of uncertainties. We adopt a chance constraint approach that accounts for arbitrary correlations between renewable resources at each of the buses. We show how the problem can be solved efficiently using historical samples via a stochastic quasi gradient method. We also show that this optimization problem is convex for a wide variety of probabilistic distributions. Compared to conventional per-bus chance constraints, our formulation is more robust to uncertainty and more computationally tractable. We illustrate the results using standard IEEE distribution test feeders.

* 20 pages, 4 figures. Accepted by IEEE Transactions on Power Systems 

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Model-Free Renewable Scenario Generation Using Generative Adversarial Networks

Feb 03, 2018
Yize Chen, Yishen Wang, Daniel Kirschen, Baosen Zhang

Scenario generation is an important step in the operation and planning of power systems with high renewable penetrations. In this work, we proposed a data-driven approach for scenario generation using generative adversarial networks, which is based on two interconnected deep neural networks. Compared with existing methods based on probabilistic models that are often hard to scale or sample from, our method is data-driven, and captures renewable energy production patterns in both temporal and spatial dimensions for a large number of correlated resources. For validation, we use wind and solar times-series data from NREL integration data sets. We demonstrate that the proposed method is able to generate realistic wind and photovoltaic power profiles with full diversity of behaviors. We also illustrate how to generate scenarios based on different conditions of interest by using labeled data during training. For example, scenarios can be conditioned on weather events~(e.g. high wind day) or time of the year~(e,g. solar generation for a day in July). Because of the feedforward nature of the neural networks, scenarios can be generated extremely efficiently without sophisticated sampling techniques.

* Accepted to IEEE Transactions on Power Systems; code available at 

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Deceiving Google's Perspective API Built for Detecting Toxic Comments

Feb 27, 2017
Hossein Hosseini, Sreeram Kannan, Baosen Zhang, Radha Poovendran

Social media platforms provide an environment where people can freely engage in discussions. Unfortunately, they also enable several problems, such as online harassment. Recently, Google and Jigsaw started a project called Perspective, which uses machine learning to automatically detect toxic language. A demonstration website has been also launched, which allows anyone to type a phrase in the interface and instantaneously see the toxicity score [1]. In this paper, we propose an attack on the Perspective toxic detection system based on the adversarial examples. We show that an adversary can subtly modify a highly toxic phrase in a way that the system assigns significantly lower toxicity score to it. We apply the attack on the sample phrases provided in the Perspective website and show that we can consistently reduce the toxicity scores to the level of the non-toxic phrases. The existence of such adversarial examples is very harmful for toxic detection systems and seriously undermines their usability.

* 4 pages 

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A Sparse Linear Model and Significance Test for Individual Consumption Prediction

Feb 21, 2017
Pan Li, Baosen Zhang, Yang Weng, Ram Rajagopal

Accurate prediction of user consumption is a key part not only in understanding consumer flexibility and behavior patterns, but in the design of robust and efficient energy saving programs as well. Existing prediction methods usually have high relative errors that can be larger than 30% and have difficulties accounting for heterogeneity between individual users. In this paper, we propose a method to improve prediction accuracy of individual users by adaptively exploring sparsity in historical data and leveraging predictive relationship between different users. Sparsity is captured by popular least absolute shrinkage and selection estimator, while user selection is formulated as an optimal hypothesis testing problem and solved via a covariance test. Using real world data from PG&E, we provide extensive simulation validation of the proposed method against well-known techniques such as support vector machine, principle component analysis combined with linear regression, and random forest. The results demonstrate that our proposed methods are operationally efficient because of linear nature, and achieve optimal prediction performance.

* 36 pages, 7 figures 

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Learning Temporal Dependence from Time-Series Data with Latent Variables

Aug 27, 2016
Hossein Hosseini, Sreeram Kannan, Baosen Zhang, Radha Poovendran

We consider the setting where a collection of time series, modeled as random processes, evolve in a causal manner, and one is interested in learning the graph governing the relationships of these processes. A special case of wide interest and applicability is the setting where the noise is Gaussian and relationships are Markov and linear. We study this setting with two additional features: firstly, each random process has a hidden (latent) state, which we use to model the internal memory possessed by the variables (similar to hidden Markov models). Secondly, each variable can depend on its latent memory state through a random lag (rather than a fixed lag), thus modeling memory recall with differing lags at distinct times. Under this setting, we develop an estimator and prove that under a genericity assumption, the parameters of the model can be learned consistently. We also propose a practical adaption of this estimator, which demonstrates significant performance gains in both synthetic and real-world datasets.

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Real-Time Prediction of the Duration of Distribution System Outages

Jul 30, 2018
Aaron Jaech, Baosen Zhang, Mari Ostendorf, Daniel S. Kirschen

This paper addresses the problem of predicting duration of unplanned power outages, using historical outage records to train a series of neural network predictors. The initial duration prediction is made based on environmental factors, and it is updated based on incoming field reports using natural language processing to automatically analyze the text. Experiments using 15 years of outage records show good initial results and improved performance leveraging text. Case studies show that the language processing identifies phrases that point to outage causes and repair steps.

* Appears in IEEE Transactions on Power Systems 

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Blocking Transferability of Adversarial Examples in Black-Box Learning Systems

Mar 13, 2017
Hossein Hosseini, Yize Chen, Sreeram Kannan, Baosen Zhang, Radha Poovendran

Advances in Machine Learning (ML) have led to its adoption as an integral component in many applications, including banking, medical diagnosis, and driverless cars. To further broaden the use of ML models, cloud-based services offered by Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and others have developed ML-as-a-service tools as black-box systems. However, ML classifiers are vulnerable to adversarial examples: inputs that are maliciously modified can cause the classifier to provide adversary-desired outputs. Moreover, it is known that adversarial examples generated on one classifier are likely to cause another classifier to make the same mistake, even if the classifiers have different architectures or are trained on disjoint datasets. This property, which is known as transferability, opens up the possibility of attacking black-box systems by generating adversarial examples on a substitute classifier and transferring the examples to the target classifier. Therefore, the key to protect black-box learning systems against the adversarial examples is to block their transferability. To this end, we propose a training method that, as the input is more perturbed, the classifier smoothly outputs lower confidence on the original label and instead predicts that the input is "invalid". In essence, we augment the output class set with a NULL label and train the classifier to reject the adversarial examples by classifying them as NULL. In experiments, we apply a wide range of attacks based on adversarial examples on the black-box systems. We show that a classifier trained with the proposed method effectively resists against the adversarial examples, while maintaining the accuracy on clean data.

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A tractable ellipsoidal approximation for voltage regulation problems

Mar 09, 2019
Pan Li, Baihong Jin, Ruoxuan Xiong, Dai Wang, Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli, Baosen Zhang

We present a machine learning approach to the solution of chance constrained optimizations in the context of voltage regulation problems in power system operation. The novelty of our approach resides in approximating the feasible region of uncertainty with an ellipsoid. We formulate this problem using a learning model similar to Support Vector Machines (SVM) and propose a sampling algorithm that efficiently trains the model. We demonstrate our approach on a voltage regulation problem using standard IEEE distribution test feeders.

* accepted by ACC2019 

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