Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date




Source Publication

2019 Resilience Week (RWS)

Source ISSN



The strong interplay between the power grid and the corresponding communication and control network plays a pivotal role in the resilience of the smart grid. In this paper, the dynamics of the interdependence among smart-grid subsystems such as the power grid, communication network, and response of human operators are captured during the propagation of cascading failures. A previously developed Markov-chain based model is refined into an interdependent Markov chain model to capture the role of cyber threat from the communication network and the human-operator error during cascading failures. The state transitions of the Markov chain are parameterized by the critical operating parameters of the power grid. The calculations assume a generic form of correlation between the level of and damage from cyber-attacks, on the one hand, and the level of interdependence on the other hand. The model finds the optimal level of interdependence, i.e., the trade-off between well-informed control and vulnerability to attacks that minimizes the probability of massive cascading failures in power grids. There is a point of diminishing returns beyond which the harm of exposure to cyber threat outweighs the benefits of information.


Accepted version. Published in the proceedings of the conference 2019 Resilience Week (RWS). DOI. © 2019 The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Used with permission.

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