UTCS Colloquia/AI - Wolf Ketter/Erasmus University, "The Power Trading Agent Competition," ACES 2.302

Contact Name: 
Whitney, Jenna
ACES 2.302
Oct 19, 2012 11:00am - 12:00pm

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Type of Talk: UTCS Colloquia/AI

Speaker/Affiliation: Wolf Ketter/Erasmus University

Talk Audience: UTCS Faculty, Graduate Students, Undergraduate Students, and Outside Interested Parties

Date/Time: Friday, October 19, 2012, 11:00 am

Location: ACES 2.302

Host: Peter Stone

Talk Title: The Power Trading Agent Competition

Talk Abstract:
The Power Trading Agent Competition (Power TAC) is a competitive simulation that models a "liberalized" retail electrical energy market, where competing business entities or "brokers" offer energy services to customers through tariff contracts, and must then serve those customers by trading in a wholesale market. Brokers are challenged to maximize their profits by buying and selling energy in the wholesale and retail markets, subject to fixed costs and constraints. Costs include fees for publication and withdrawal of tariffs, and distribution fees for transporting energy to their contracted customers. Costs are also incurred whenever there is an imbalance between a broker's total contracted energy supply and demand within a given timeslot. The simulation environment models a wholesale market, a regulated distribution utility, and a population of energy customers, situated in a real location on Earth during a specific period for which weather data is available. The wholesale market is a relatively simple call market, similar to many existing wholesale electric power markets, such as Nord Pool in Scandinavia or FERC markets in North America, but unlike the FERC markets we are modeling a single region, and therefore we do not model location-marginal pricing. Customer models include households and a variety of commercial and industrial entities, many of which have production capacity (such as solar panels or wind turbines) as well as electric vehicles. All have "real-time" metering to support allocation of their hourly supply and demand to their subscribed brokers, and all are approximate utility maximizers with respect to tariff selection, although the factors making up their utility functions may include aversion to change and complexity that can retard uptake of marginally better tariff offers. The distribution utility models the regulated natural monopoly that owns the regional distribution network, and is responsible for maintenance of its infrastructure and for real-time balancing of supply and demand. The balancing process is a market-based mechanism that uses economic incentives to encourage brokers to achieve balance within their portfolios of tariff subscribers and wholesale market positions, in the face of stochastic customer behaviors and weather-dependent renewable energy sources. The broker with the highest bank balance at the end of the simulation wins. I'll report results and insights from the first competition from September 2012.

Wolf Ketter is Associate Professor of Information Systems at the Department of Decision and Information Sciences at the Rotterdam School of Management of the Erasmus University. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Minnesota in 2007. He founded and runs the Learning Agents Research Group at Erasmus (LARGE) and the Erasmus Center for Future Energy Business. The primary objective of LARGE is to research, develop, and apply autonomous and mixed-initiative intelligent agent systems to support human decision making in the area of business networks, electronic markets, energy grids, and supply-chain management. The energy research enables the robust, intelligent, efficient, and sustainable energy networks of the future. He is the founder and chair of the Erasmus Forum for Future Energy Business, an annual forum held in Rotterdam. He was co-chairing the TADA workshop at AAAI 2008, the general chair of the Trading Agent Competition (TAC) 2009, is member of the board of directors of the Association for Trading Agent Research (ATAR) since 2009, and its chair since 2010. He is leading Power TAC, a new TAC competition on energy retail markets the pilot competition was held at International Joint Conference of Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI) 2011 in Barcelona and the first inaugural competition will be held at AAMAS 2012 in Valencia. Since 2011 Wolfgang also serves as the chair of the IEEE Task Force on Energy Markets. He was the program co-chair of the International Conference of Electronic Commerce (ICEC) 2011. His research has been published in various information systems, and computer science journals such as AI Magazine, Decision Support Systems, Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, Energy Policy, European Journal of Information Systems, INFORMS OR/MS Today, INFORMS Information Systems Research, and International Journal of Electronic Commerce. He serves on the editorial board of Electronic Commerce Research and Applications. He will be the keynote speaker at the International KES Conference on Agents and Multi-agent Systems Technologies and Applications, Dubrovnik, Croatia, 2012, the Agents and Data Mining Interaction Workshop, Valencia, Spain 2012, and has been the keynote speaker at the Scandinavian Energy Conference in Oslo in 2011, many distinguished lectures at international conferences, and renowned universities, such as Harvard, University of Minnesota, University of Liverpool, RWTH Aachen, University of Connecticut, TU Delft, KIT, University of Mannheim, University of St. Thomas, etc.