Managing Price Uncertainty in Prosumer-Centric Energy Trading: A Prospect-Theoretic Stackelberg Game Approach

Georges El Rahi, S. Rasoul Etesami, Walid Saad, Narayan B. Mandayam, H. Vincent Poor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations


In this paper, the problem of energy trading between smart grid prosumers, who can simultaneously consume and produce energy, and a grid power company is studied. The problem is formulated as a single-leader, multiple-follower Stackelberg game between the power company and multiple prosumers. In this game, the power company acts as a leader who determines the pricing strategy that maximizes its profits, while the prosumers act as followers who react by choosing the amount of energy to buy or sell so as to optimize their current and future profits. The proposed game accounts for each prosumer's subjective decision when faced with the uncertainty of profits, induced by the random future price. In particular, the framing effect, from the framework of prospect theory (PT), is used to account for each prosumer's valuation of its gains and losses with respect to an individual utility reference point. The reference point changes between prosumers and stems from their past experience and future aspirations of profits. The followers' noncooperative game is shown to admit a unique pure-strategy Nash equilibrium (NE) under classical game theory which is obtained using a fully distributed algorithm. The results are extended to account for the case of PT using algorithmic solutions that can achieve an NE under certain conditions. Simulation results show that the total grid load varies significantly with the prosumers' reference point and their loss-aversion level. In addition, it is shown that the power company's profits considerably decrease when it fails to account for the prosumers' subjective perceptions under PT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8031035
Pages (from-to)702-713
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Smart Grid
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Computer Science


  • Nash equilibrium
  • Smart grid
  • energy trading
  • game theory
  • price uncertainty
  • prospect theory
  • prosumers


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