Risk neutral and risk averse approaches to multistage stochastic programming with applications to hydrothermal operation planning problems
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The main objective of this thesis is to investigate risk neutral and risk averse approaches to multistage stochastic programming with applications to hydrothermal operation planning problems. The purpose of hydrothermal system operation planning is to define an operation strategy which, for each stage of the planning period, given the system state at the beginning of the stage, produces generation targets for each plant. This problem can be formulated as a large scale multistage stochastic linear programming problem. The energy rationing that took place in Brazil in the period 2001/2002 raised the question of whether a policy that is based on a criterion of minimizing the expected cost (i.e. risk neutral approach) is a valid one when it comes to meet the day-to-day supply requirements and taking into account severe weather conditions that may occur. The risk averse methodology provides a suitable framework to remedy these deficiencies. This thesis attempts to provide a better understanding of the risk averse methodology from the practice perspective and suggests further possible alternatives using robust optimization techniques. The questions investigated and the contributions of this thesis are as follows. First, we suggest a multiplicative autoregressive time series model for the energy inflows that can be embedded into the optimization problem that we investigate. Then, computational aspects related to the stochastic dual dynamic programming (SDDP) algorithm are discussed. We investigate the stopping criteria of the algorithm and provide a framework for assessing the quality of the policy. The SDDP method works reasonably well when the number of state variables is relatively small while the number of stages can be large. However, as the number of state variables increases the convergence of the SDDP algorithm can become very slow. Afterwards, performance improvement techniques of the algorithm are discussed. We suggest a subroutine to eliminate the redundant cutting planes in the future cost functions description which allows a considerable speed up factor. Also, a design using high performance computing techniques is discussed. Moreover, an analysis of the obtained policy is outlined with focus on specific aspects of the long term operation planning problem. In the risk neutral framework, extreme events can occur and might cause considerable social costs. These costs can translate into blackouts or forced rationing similarly to what happened in 2001/2002 crisis. Finally, issues related to variability of the SAA problems and sensitivity to initial conditions are studied. No significant variability of the SAA problems is observed. Second, we analyze the risk averse approach and its application to the hydrothermal operation planning problem. A review of the methodology is suggested and a generic description of the SDDP method for coherent risk measures is presented. A detailed study of the risk averse policy is outlined for the hydrothermal operation planning problem using different risk measures. The adaptive risk averse approach is discussed under two different perspectives: one through the mean-$avr$ and the other through the mean-upper-semideviation risk measures. Computational aspects for the hydrothermal system operation planning problem of the Brazilian interconnected power system are discussed and the contributions of the risk averse methodology when compared to the risk neutral approach are presented. We have seen that the risk averse approach ensures a reduction in the high quantile values of the individual stage costs. This protection comes with an increase of the average policy value - the price of risk aversion. Furthermore, both of the risk averse approaches come with practically no extra computational effort and, similarly to the risk neutral method, there was no significant variability of the SAA problems. Finally, a methodology that combines robust and stochastic programming approaches is investigated. In many situations, such as the operation planning problem, the involved uncertain parameters can be naturally divided into two groups, for one group the robust approach makes sense while for the other the stochastic programming approach is more appropriate. The basic ideas are discussed in the multistage setting and a formulation with the corresponding dynamic programming equations is presented. A variant of the SDDP algorithm for solving this class of problems is suggested. The contributions of this methodology are illustrated with computational experiments of the hydrothermal operation planning problem and a comparison with the risk neutral and risk averse approaches is presented. The worst-case-expectation approach constructs a policy that is less sensitive to unexpected demand increase with a reasonable loss on average when compared to the risk neutral method. Also, we comp are the suggested method with a risk averse approach based on coherent risk measures. On the one hand, the idea behind the risk averse method is to allow a trade off between loss on average and immunity against unexpected extreme scenarios. On the other hand, the worst-case-expectation approach consists in a trade off between a loss on average and immunity against unanticipated demand increase. In some sense, there is a certain equivalence between the policies constructed using each of these methods.