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Blackouts, risk, and fat-tailed distributions

Listed author(s):
  • Rafal Weron

    (Hugo Steinhaus Center)

  • Ingve Simonsen

    (The Norwegian University of Science & Technology)

We analyze a 19-year time series of North American electric power transmission system blackouts. Contrary to previously reported results we find a fatter than exponential decay in the distribution of inter- occurrence times and evidence of seasonal dependence in the number of events. Our findings question the use of self-organized criticality, and in particular the sandpile model, as a paradigm of blackout dynamics in power transmission systems. Hopefully, though, they will provide guidelines to more accurate models for evaluation of blackout risk.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Risk and Insurance with number 0510001.

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Length: 5 pages
Date of creation: 08 Oct 2005
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpri:0510001
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 5 , 3 . To appear in: H. Takayasu (ed.), Proceedings of the 3rd Nikkei Econophysics Symposium, Springer-Tokyo, 2005/2006
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  1. Enrico Scalas & Rudolf Gorenflo & Hugh Luckock & Francesco Mainardi & Maurizio Mantelli & Marco Raberto, 2004. "Anomalous waiting times in high-frequency financial data," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(6), pages 695-702.
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