In the next-generation power systems (Smart Grid), a large number of distributed energy devices (e.g., distributed generators, distributed energy storage, loads, smart meters) are connected to each other in an internet-like structure. Incorporating millions of new energy devices will require wide-ranging transformation of the nation’s aging electrical grid infrastructure. The key challenge is to efficiently manage a great amount of devices through distributed intelligence. The distributed grid intelligence (DGI) agent is the brain of distributed energy devices. DGI enables every single energy device to not only have a certain intelligence to achieve optimal management locally, but also coordinate with others to achieve a common goal. The massive volume of real-time data collected by DGI will help the grid operators gain a better understanding of a large-scale and highly dynamic power systems. In conventional power systems, the system operation is performed using purely centralized data storage and processing approaches. However, as the number of DGIs increases to more than hundreds of thousands, it is rather intuitive that the state-of-the-art centralized information processing architecture will no longer be sustainable under such big data explosion. The ongoing research work illustrates how advanced ideas from IT industry and power industry can be combined in a unique way. The proposed high-availability distributed file system and data processing framework can be easily tailored to support other data-intensive applications in a large-scale and complex power grids. For example, the proposed DGI nodes can be embedded into any distributed generators (e.g., roof-top PV panel), distributed energy storage devices (e.g., electric vehicle), and loads (e.g., smart home) in a future residential distribution system. If implemented successfully, we can translate Smart Grid with high-volume, high-velocity, and high-variety data to a completely distributed cyber-physical system architecture. In addition, the proposed work can be easily extended to support other cyber-physical system applications (e.g., intelligent transportation system).
My current data science research interest lies in the broad area of supply chain and its management. I am particularly interested in using longitudinal data set to identify early signals (or warning) and to draw causal inferences pertaining to supply chain security and product quality and safety. I am also interested in developing experiments to capture the behavioral side of decision makings to be complementary to secondary data analysis. Industry setting wise, I have based my research on the auto industry, and will expand my auto-industry centered research into a broader, transportation industry oriented context. I am also interested in food and agricultural products, pharmaceutical, and medical devices industries where product quality and safety have significant implications to human life and society as a whole.
Our research is concerned with evidence-based optimization, the idea of optimizing complex systems holistically, exploiting the unprecedented amount of available data. It is driven by an exciting convergence of ideas in big data, predictive analytics, and large-scale optimization (prescriptive analytics) that provide, for the first time, an opportunity to capture human dynamics, natural phenomena, and complex infrastructures in optimization models. We apply evidence-based optimization to challenging applications in environmental and social resilience, energy systems, marketing, social networks, and transportation. Key research topics include the integration of predictive (machine learning, simulation, stochastic approximation) and prescriptive analytics (optimization under uncertainty), as well as the integration of strategic, tactical, and operational models.
The video above is of a planned evacuation of 70,000 persons for a 1-100 year flood in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Region using both predictive and prescriptive analytics and large data sets for the terrain, the population, and the transportation network.
Amitabh Sinha, PhD, is Associate Professor of Technology and Operations in the University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business, Ann Arbor, and Co-Director of the Tauber Institute for Global Operations.
Amitabh’s current research primarily focuses on the operational aspects of ecommerce/omnichannel retail. For instance, one of his ongoing research projects explores the optimization of order fulfillment by online retailers; another examines the design of retail stores and inventory management for omnichannel fulfillment through stores. Another recent research project examines the potential impact of platform capitalism (also called the sharing economy) in a business-to-business setting for ecommerce warehousing. The primary methodological tools are optimization, simulation, and machine learning.