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Frequent occurrences of blackouts have made the reliability of power grid much more concerned in the last few years. Recent work reveals that some important lines can have critical impact on the blackouts in power system. Based on the newest progress in the field of complex network theory, power grids are treated as small world networks. This paper calculates the topological characteristic parameters of the power grid, investigates the tolerance of power grid against random failures and targeted attacks, and proposes a methodology for the study of the relationship between small-world effects and the reliability of power grid. The failure simulation results of a practical large power grid show that the power grid is much robust facing random failures but becomes much vulnerable in front of attacks on selective nodes.
Date of Conference: 27-31 March 2009