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Both the off-line and on-line methods for short-term electric load forecasting are reviewed. Since identifying an adequate model is the most important problem of any forecasting technique, the literature is classified according to the modeling approaches used for representing the load demand. The merits and drawbacks of each approach and how different authors have applied it to the problem under consideration are stressed. Also included is recent work where multivariable identification techniques are used to model the load demand of all the major loading nodes of a large power system. The advantages and the difficulties of applying such techniques are discussed. As a conclusion, directions for future research and future development of available algorithms, which can improve the state of the art, are suggested.