Operator Insights and Usability Evaluation of Machine Learning Assistance for Power Grid Contingency Analysis

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: John WenskovitchAlexander AndersonSlaven KincicCorey FallonDanielle CiesielskiJessica BawejaMolly C MersingerBrett Jefferson

Abstract: Introducing machine learning (ML) assistance into any established process comes with adoption barriers, including entrenched procedures, technological and human readiness levels, human-machine trust, and work culture resistance to change. These barriers are even greater in critical operations such as operating a national or regional power grid, in which both regulatory frameworks and the importance of maintaining reliability levels causes additional resistance to the adoption of new computational support. Developers of future systems and job aides must consider not only technical aspects, but also whether new systems are usable by power system operators. This work presents the methodology and results of a study to evaluate the usability and readiness of a prototype recommender system for power grid contingency analysis. We explore operator cognitive load and evaluate operator performance when solving a collection of scenarios both with and without recommender assistance. We also examine operator trust in the system. We report insights gained on the readiness of the system using a collection of evaluation techniques.

Keywords: machine learning, contingency analysis, usability study

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1002219

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