Scheduling power consumption with price uncertainty

Tùng T. Kim, H. Vincent Poor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

250 Scopus citations


The problem of causally scheduling power consumption to minimize the expected cost at the consumer side is considered. The price of electricity is assumed to be time-varying. The scheduler has access to past and current prices, but only statistical knowledge about future prices, which it uses to make an optimal decision in each time period. The scheduling problem is naturally cast as a Markov decision process. Algorithms to find decision thresholds for both noninterruptible and interruptible loads under a deadline constraint are then developed. Numerical results suggest that incorporating the statistical knowledge into the scheduling policies can result in significant savings, especially for short tasks. It is demonstrated with real price data from Commonwealth Edison that scheduling with mismatched modeling and online parameter estimation can still provide significant economic advantages to consumers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5959241
Pages (from-to)519-527
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Smart Grid
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Computer Science


  • Dynamic pricing
  • Markov decision processes
  • power consumption scheduling


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