Online learning algorithms for the real-time set-point tracking problem

Arman Alahyari, David Pozo, Meisam Farrokhifar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


With the recent advent of technology within the smart grid, many conventional concepts of power systems have undergone drastic changes. Owing to technological developments, even small customers can monitor their energy consumption and schedule household applications with the utilization of smart meters and mobile devices. In this paper, we address the power set-point tracking problem for an aggregator that participates in a real-time ancillary program. Fast communication of data and control signal is possible, and the end-user side can exploit the provided signals through demand response programs benefiting both customers and the power grid. However, the existing optimization approaches rely on heavy computation and future parameter predictions, making them ineffective regarding real-time decision-making. As an alternative to the fixed control rules and offline optimization models, we propose the use of an online optimization decision-making framework for the power set-point tracking problem. For the introduced decision-making framework, two types of online algorithms are investigated with and without projections. The former is based on the standard online gradient descent (OGD) algorithm, while the latter is based on the Online Frank–Wolfe (OFW) algorithm. The results demonstrated that both algorithms could achieve sub-linear regret where the OGD approach reached approximately 2.4-times lower average losses. However, the OFW-based demand response algorithm performed up to twenty-nine percent faster when the number of loads increased for each round of optimization.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6620
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2021


  • Online optimization
  • Set-point tracking
  • Smart grids
  • Uncertainty


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