Project M: Modeling for Stability

The motivating question for this project is: how do we assure the stability of our highly-networked technology systems against natural and man-made adversarial challenges? We will focus on a concrete case, the electric power grid. The Texas grid debacle earlier this year suggests the need to improve our toolbox for testing and assuring power grid stability in response to natural as well as adversarial stressors. Climate change effects also expands the range of stressors to guard against. This project will experiment with methodologies to analyzing and/or quantifying measures of grid system resilience and stability using LLNL’s models of the power grid as a substrate. Our experiments will include RDM explorations and network-based concepts of system resilience.


Research Questions:

  • What modeling approaches lends themselves well to evaluating the shock resilience of large distributed systems? And what are their relative strengths?
  • What methods can be formulated for evaluating system resilience to “black swan” shocks or newer correlated extreme shocks (e.g. climate change)?

Sample Tasks:

  1. Identify or develop sandbox model of electric power grid
  2. Lit review or consultation to identify portfolio of likely natural or adversarial system challenges
  3. Experiments on methods to simulate challenges in sandbox model
  4. Experiments on methods to inform “stability interventions” using simulation results
  5. Integrate heterogeneity of affected community into analysis workflow


  • Prototypes and Demonstrations various approaches to modeling and quantifying systemic shocks