Social Control of Power System Demand Based on Local Collaborative Preferences

  • Michael N. Huhns
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 365)


This paper describes a computational approach to energy use that assigns importance to human psychology and social interactions. Specifically, this paper describes our investigations into computational mechanisms that encourage prosocial behavior on the part of consumers. Examples of prosocial behavior in the context of electrical energy use are reducing average aggregate consumption and peak total consumption. We consider an approach that combines minority games and cake-cutting that includes elements of human decision-making in situations that are hybrids of competitive and cooperative settings. For example, people may be motivated to reduce their consumption if that were posed as a competition wherein they would win a game, possibly by collaborating with their neighbors. And, people may be motivated to behave in a prosocial manner if selfish behaviors were shunned in their social group. Previous approaches disregard such dynamics from technical studies, relegating them to psychological analyses; yet the interrelationship of the human and the technical aspects is crucial in a complex sociotechnical system such as the power grid.


Multiagent systems electric power demand-side control social computing 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael N. Huhns
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Computer Science and EngineeringUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA

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