A causality based feature selection approach for data-driven dynamic security assessment

Federica Bellizio, Jochen L. Cremer, Mingyang Sun, Goran Strbac

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

23 Downloads (Pure)


The integration of renewable energy sources increases the operational uncertainty of electric power systems and can lead to more frequent dynamic phenomena. The use of classifiers from machine learning is promising to include dynamics in the security assessment of the power system. The training of these classifiers is typically performed offline on synthetically generated operating conditions (OCs) that are similar to real-time operation. However, the uncertainty in the generated OCs and the classifier’s inaccuracy is larger the longer the time between offline and real-time operation. Moving the classifier training closer to real-time operation is an important step forward to reduce inaccurate predictions and improve reliability. In this paper, a novel causality-based feature selection approach for an online dynamic security assessment (DSA) framework is proposed. The key novelty is to use the system’s physics to learn the causal structure between the features and then select the features based on this causal structure. The proposed approach results in faster computations, is more robust and more interpretable. Moreover, classifiers can be trained closer to real-time operation which enhances the predictive performance. Through a case study using transient stability on the IEEE 68-bus system, the proposed method reduces computational time by 75% in comparison to state of the art feature selection techniques. The proposed workflow showed superior performance in accuracy and robustness against uncertainty compared to conventional machine learning approaches for DSA. The computational benefit was also projected to a dataset of the French transmission system where the approach has the potential to achieve computational savings of up-to two orders of magnitudes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number107537
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalElectric Power Systems Research
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Decision trees
  • Feature selection
  • Markov blanket
  • Power systems operation
  • Dynamic security assessment


Dive into the research topics of 'A causality based feature selection approach for data-driven dynamic security assessment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this