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The use of large digital computers in control centers has made it possible to track the changing conditions in the power system with a mathematical model in the computer. This real-time model can be used to assess the security of the present system as well as to check out possible control strategies. In this paper the various steps in constructing the model from the real-time measurements are described. These steps include the determination of the network topology, the estimation of the network state, and the approximate modeling of the unobservable (external) network. This paper also discusses the checks for observability and bad measurements, and the calculation of bus load forecast factors and generator penalty factors.