Generic Flow Algorithm for Analysis of Interdependent Multi-Domain Distributed Network Systems

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Virginia Tech


Since the advent of the computer in the late 1950s, scientists and engineers have pushed the limits of the computing power available to them to solve physical problems via computational simulations. Early computer languages evaluated program logic in a sequential manner, thereby forcing the designer to think of the problem solution in terms of a sequential process.

Object-oriented analysis and design have introduced new concepts for solving systems of engineering problems. The term object-oriented was first introduced by Alan Kay [1] in the late 1960s; however, mainstream incorporation of object-oriented programming did not occur until the mid- to late 1990s. The principles and methods underlying object-oriented programming center around objects that communicate with one another and work together to model the physical system. Program functions and data are grouped together to represent the objects.

This dissertation extends object-oriented modeling concepts to model algorithms in a generic manner for solving interconnected, multi-domain problems. This work is based on an extension of Graph Trace Analysis (GTA) which was originally developed in the 1990's for power distribution system design. Because of GTA's ability to combine and restructure analysis methodologies from a variety of problem domains, it is now being used for integrated power distribution and transmission system design, operations and control. Over the last few years research has begun to formalize GTA into a multidiscipline approach that uses generic algorithms and a common model-based analysis framework. This dissertation provides an overview of the concepts used in GTA, and then discusses the main problems and potential generic algorithm based solutions associated with design and control of interdependent reconfigurable systems. These include:

• Decoupling analysis into distinct component and system level equations. • Using iterator based topology management and algorithms instead of matrices. • Using composition to implement polymorphism and simplify data management. • Using dependency components to structure analysis across different systems types. • Defining component level equations for power, gas and fluid systems in terms of across and though variables.

This dissertation presents a methodology for solving interdependent, multi-domain networks with generic algorithms. The methodology enables modeling of very large systems and the solution of the systems can be accomplished without the need for matrix solvers. The solution technique incorporates a binary search algorithm for accelerating the solution of looped systems. Introduction of generic algorithms enables the system solver to be written such that it is independent of the system type. Example fluid and electrical systems are solved to illustrate the generic nature of the approach.



Generic Algorithms, Graph Trace Analysis, Interdependent Systems, Multi-Domain Systems, Distributed Processing