A Meta-Learning Approach to the Optimal Power Flow Problem under Topology Reconfigurations

Yexiang Chen, Subhash Lakshminarayana, Carsten Maple, H. Vincent Poor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Recently there has been a surge of interest in adopting deep neural networks (DNNs) for solving the optimal power flow (OPF) problem in power systems. Computing optimal generation dispatch decisions using a trained DNN takes significantly less time when compared to conventional optimization solvers. However, a major drawback of existing work is that the machine learning models are trained for a specific system topology. Hence, the DNN predictions are only useful as long as the system topology remains unchanged. Changes to the system topology (initiated by the system operator) would require retraining the DNN, which incurs significant training overhead and requires an extensive amount of training data (corresponding to the new system topology). To overcome this drawback, we propose a DNN-based OPF predictor that is trained using a meta-learning (MTL) approach. The key idea behind this approach is to find a common initialization vector that enables fast training for any system topology. The developed OPF-predictor is validated through simulations using benchmark IEEE bus systems. The results show that the MTL approach achieves significant training speed-ups and requires only a few gradient steps with a few data samples to achieve high OPF prediction accuracy and outperforms other pretraining techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-120
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Open Access Journal of Power and Energy
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Deep neural networks
  • Meta-learning
  • Optimal power flow
  • Topology reconfiguration


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