Novelty detection and multi-class classification in power distribution voltage waveforms

André Eugênio Lazzaretti*, David Martinus Johannes Tax, Hugo Vieira Neto, Vitor Hugo Ferreira

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


The automatic analysis of electrical waveforms is a recurring subject in the power system sector worldwide. In this sense, the idea of this paper is to present an original approach for automatic classification of voltage waveforms in electrical distribution networks. It includes both the classification of the waveforms in multiple known classes, and the detection of new waveforms (novelties) that are not available during the training stage. The classification method, based on the Support Vector Data Description (SVDD), has a suitable formulation for this task, because it is capable of fitting a model on a relatively small set of examples, which may also include negative examples (patterns from other known classes or even novelties), with maximal margin separation. The results obtained on both simulated and real world data demonstrate the ability of the method to identify novelties and to classify known examples correctly. The method finds application in the mitigation process of emergencies normally performed by power utilities' maintenance and protection engineers, which requires fast and accurate event cause identification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-330
Number of pages9
JournalExpert Systems with Applications
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • New class identification
  • Novelty detection
  • Open set recognition
  • Smart grids
  • Waveform classification


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