Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Kenneth M. Hopkinson, PhD


This thesis research explores integrating a reputation-based trust mechanism with an agent-based backup protection system to improve the performance of traditional backup relay methods that are currently in use in power transmission systems. Integrating agent technology into relay protection schemes has been previously proposed to clear faults more rapidly and to add precision by enabling the use of adaptive protection methods. A distributed, cooperative trust system such as that used in peer-to-peer file sharing networks has the potential to add an additional layer of defense in a protection system designed to operate with greater autonomy. This trust component enables agents in the system to make assessments using additional, behavioral-based analysis of cooperating protection agents. Simulation results illustrate the improved decision-making capability achieved by incorporating this cooperative trust method when experiencing abnormal or malicious communications. The integration of this additional trust component provides an added push for implementing the proposed agent-based protection schemes to help mitigate the impact from wide-area disturbances and the cascading blackouts that often follow. As the push for electric grid modernization continues, an agent-based trust system including this type of behavioral-based analysis will also benefit other smart components connecting critical grid control and monitoring information systems.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number