PowerModels Utility Functions

This section provides an overview of the some of the utility functions that are implemented as a part of the PowerModels julia package.

Optimization-Based Bound-Tightening for the AC Optimal Power Flow Problem

To improve the quality of the convex relaxations available in PowerModels and also to obtain tightened bounds on the voltage-magnitude and phase-angle difference variables, an optimization-based bound-tightening algorithm is made available as a function in PowerModels.


Iteratively tighten bounds on voltage magnitude and phase-angle difference variables.

The function can be invoked on any convex relaxation which explicitly has these variables. By default, the function uses the QC relaxation for performing bound-tightening. Interested readers are refered to the paper "Strengthening Convex Relaxations with Bound Tightening for Power Network Optimization".


The function can be invoked as follows:

data, stats = run_obbt_opf!("matpower/case3.m", JuMP.with_optimizer(Ipopt.Optimizer, kwargs...)

data contains the parsed network data with tightened bounds. stats contains information output from the bounds-tightening algorithm. It looks roughly like

Dict{String,Any} with 19 entries:
  "initial_relaxation_objective" => 5817.91
  "vm_range_init"                => 0.6
  "final_relaxation_objective"   => 5901.96
  "avg_vm_range_init"            => 0.2
  "final_rel_gap_from_ub"        => NaN
  "run_time"                     => 0.832232
  "model_type"            => AbstractPowerModel
  "avg_td_range_final"           => 0.436166
  "initial_rel_gap_from_ub"      => Inf
  "sim_parallel_run_time"        => 1.13342
  "upper_bound"                  => Inf
  "vm_range_final"               => 0.6
  "vad_sign_determined"          => 2
  "avg_td_range_init"            => 1.0472
  "avg_vm_range_final"           => 0.2
  "iteration_count"              => 5
  "td_range_init"                => 3.14159
  "td_range_final"               => 1.3085

Keyword Arguments

  • model_type: relaxation to use for performing bound-tightening. Currently, it supports any relaxation that has explicit voltage magnitude and phase-angle difference variables.
  • max_iter: maximum number of bound-tightening iterations to perform.
  • time_limit: maximum amount of time (sec) for the bound-tightening algorithm.
  • upper_bound: can be used to specify a local feasible solution objective for the AC Optimal Power Flow problem.
  • upper_bound_constraint: boolean option that can be used to add an additional constraint to reduce the search space of each of the bound-tightening solves. This cannot be set to true without specifying an upper bound.
  • rel_gap_tol: tolerance used to terminate the algorithm when the objective value of the relaxation is close to the upper bound specified using the upper_bound keyword.
  • min_bound_width: domain beyond which bound-tightening is not performed.
  • termination: Bound-tightening algorithm terminates if the improvement in the average or maximum bound improvement, specified using either the termination = :avg or the termination = :max option, is less than improvement_tol.
  • precision: number of decimal digits to round the tightened bounds to.

Lazy Line Flow Limits

The following functions are meta-algorithms for solving OPF problems where line flow limit constraints are added iteratively to exploit the property that the majority of line flows constraints will be inactive in the optimal solution.


Solves the OPF problem by iteratively adding line flow constraints based on constraint violations

Keyword Arguments

  • model_type: the power flow formulaiton.
  • max_iter: maximum number of flow iterations to perform.
  • time_limit: maximum amount of time (sec) for the algorithm.
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