Keith J. Ross

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Kenneth M. Hopkinson, PhD.


This thesis presents the development and evaluation of a distributed agent based system using reputation based trust and game theoretic techniques to improve the defense of the future smart grid from cyber-attack and equipment malfunctions. Future smart grid capabilities promise to leverage network technologies to revolutionize the production, transmission, distribution and consumption of electrical power. However, the internet like communication also increase the power grid's vulnerability to cyber-attack. This thesis uses simulation linking power systems with communication networks to demonstrate the benefits of a Distributed Decision Making Communication Enable Special Protection System (SPS) using reputation based trust and game theory to protect the power grid from malicious and non-malicious malfunctions. The simulations show that a distributed approach to SPS load shedding successfully maintains power grid stability after an electrical disturbance while using reputation based trust to defend the load shedding from cyber-attack and equipment malfunction. Additional simulations demonstrate the application of game theory to defend the SPS load shedding process when available resources prevent the monitoring and defense of every part of the power grid. The demonstrated capability increases the resiliency of the power grid by preventing uncontrolled blackouts through detection and mitigation of attacks, improving the system's reliability.

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DTIC Accession Number