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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Inhibiting Bisection Problem


Given a graph where each vertex is assigned a generation or consumption volume, we try to bisect the graph so that each part has a significant generation/consumption mismatch, and the cutsize of the bisection is small. Our motivation comes from the vulnerability analysis of distribution systems such as the electric power system. We show that the constrained version of the problem, where we place either the cutsize or the mismatch significance as a constraint and optimize the other, is NP-complete, and provide an integer programming formulation. We also propose an alternative relaxed formulation, which can trade-off between the two objectives and show that the alternative formulation of the problem can be solved in polynomial time by a maximum flow solver. Our experiments with benchmark electric power systems validate the effectiveness of our methods.

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