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2, MARCH 2015

Artificial Immune Systems Optimization

Approach for Multiobjective Distribution
System Reconfiguration
F. R. Alonso, D. Q. Oliveira, and A. C. Zambroni de Souza

Abstract—In order to optimize their assets, electrical power With the deregulation of electricity service worldwide, it has
distribution companies seek out various techniques to improve become mandatory, if a company is to reach high reliability in-
system operation and its different variables, like voltage levels, dicators, to carry out network planning according to quality and
active power losses and so on. A few of the tools applied to meet
these objectives include reactive power compensation, use of
continuity of service indices—system average interruption fre-
voltage regulators, and network reconfiguration. One target most quency index (SAIFI) and system average interruption duration
companies aim at is power loss minimization; one available tool index (SAIDI). Regarding this, an effective alternative to im-
to do this is distribution system reconfiguration. To reconfigure a proving the supply of electricity is network reconfiguration.
network in radial power distribution systems means to alter the Reconfiguring a distribution network is a multiobjective,
topology changing the state of a set of switches normally closed combinatorial, and complex problem; it entails many uncer-
(NC) and normally opened (NO). In restructured electrical power
business, a company must also consider obtaining a topology
tainties, making it harder for one to apply classical methods
as reliable as possible. In most cases, reducing the power losses [1]. The reconfiguring cannot be optimally solved without
is no guarantee of improved reliability. This paper presents a considering important aspects like the proper modeling of the
multiobjective algorithm to reduce power losses while improving distribution networks, the algorithms to handle configuration
the reliability index using the artificial immune systems technique changes in the network topology in a timely manner, load
applying graph theory considerations to improve computational flow calculations, the objective function composition and its
performance and Pareto dominance rules. The proposed algo-
rithm is tested on a sample system, 14-bus test system, and on
constraints, and decision-making techniques used to define the
Administración Nacional de Electricidad (ANDE) real feeder ideal electrical configuration [2].
(CBO-01 23-kV feeder). However, no relationship exists to indicate that improved
continuity indices lead to a reduction in power losses. In many
Index Terms—Artificial immune systems, distribution system re-
configuration, system average interruption frequency index. cases, reducing losses may even harm continuity indices. This
is a typical scenario for a multi-objective problem analysis.
Many authors have proposed different approaches to recon-
I. INTRODUCTION figuration problems, like fuzzy sets [2], [3], genetic algorithms
[1], [4], [5], a hybrid genetic algorithm-mixed integer linear pro-

D ISTRIBUTION systems are planned as either radial or

weakly meshed networks. They generally consist of a set
of feeders with resources. That is, the feeder can be divided
gramming [6], a hybrid fuzzy-ant colony approach [7], simu-
lated annealing [8] and still others.
The framework of the multiobjective problem was intro-
into sections with connectivity to other sections, allowing, in duced in [9], and the framework took into account a balance
contingency cases, interoperability. between conflicting objectives such as losses and reliability.
Reducing system loss in these networks is a common goal of Multiobjective reconfiguration has, in recent years, been the
electricity utilities. They go about achieving this goal by, most subject of several studies. In addition to reducing power losses,
commonly, installing voltage regulators, capacitors, and recon- researchers have considered such other objective functions as
figuring networks. load balancing [7], voltage deviations [10]–[13], the number
of switching operations [10], [13], and continuity indices [4],
Manuscript received December 24, 2013; revised February 18, 2014 and [11], [14].
April 28, 2014; accepted June 08, 2014. Date of publication June 27, 2014; To solve this multiobjective problem, several methodologies
date of current version February 17, 2015. The work of A. C. Zambroni de are proposed. Reference [10], to find the best configuration of
Souza was supported in part by CNPq and INERGE. The work of D. Q Oliveira
was supported by CAPES. The work of F. R. Alonso was supported by Itaipu a system, considered seasonal loads through a methodology
Binational Scholarships Unit. Paper no. TPWRS-01625-2013. called multiobjective evolutionary algorithm for distribution
F. R. Alonso is with Administración Nacional de Electricidad—ANDE, Padre feeder reconfigurations. This methodology uses interval anal-
Cardozo 1268 casi España, Barrio Las Mercedes, Asunción, Paraguay (e-mail:
ing.ricardo.alonso@gmail.com). ysis to consider uncertainties in customer demand. In [11] the
D. Q. Oliveira and A. C. Zambroni de Souza are with the Federal Uni- multiobjective problem to reduce power losses, voltage devia-
versity of Itajubá, Pinheirinho, Itajubá, MG, 37500-903, Brazil (e-mail: tion and frequency rate of power outages is transformed into a
denissonqo@gmail.com; zambroni@unifei.edu.br).
Color versions of one or more of the figures in this paper are available online
mono-objective problem and solved using genetic algorithms.
at http://ieeexplore.ieee.org. Reference [15] proposed a methodology where a set of original
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TPWRS.2014.2330628 contributions are provided with reference to the construction

0885-8950 © 2014 IEEE. Personal use is permitted, but republication/redistribution requires IEEE permission.
See http://www.ieee.org/publications_standards/publications/rights/index.html for more information.

and updating of the best-known Pareto front using a genetic these antibodies (cell receptors), and with a second signal from
algorithm-based solver. In [16] the authors considered reconfig- accessory cells, such as the T-helper cell, the antigen stimulates
uring a distribution by inserting wind turbines. They employed the B-cell to proliferate (divide) and mature into terminal
a technique based on self adaptive modified learning teacher (non-dividing) antibody secreting cells, called plasma cells.
optimization (SAMTLO) to solve the probabilistic problem The process of cell division generates a clone, i.e., a cell or
of considering wind plants in the improvement of power loss, set of cells that are the progeny of a single cell. Lymphocytes,
continuity index, and so forth. in addition to proliferating and/or differentiating into plasma
This paper aims to solve the multiobjective problem of cells, can differentiate into long-lived B memory cells [19].
reconfiguring a distribution system using the artificial immune Artificial immune systems (AISs) have many interesting fea-
systems (AIS) approach, the non-dominant Pareto front, and tures for solving optimization problems and have already been
the graph theory. The AIS optimization tool mimics the human applied to robotics, adaptive control, optimization, multi-agent
immune system with its recognition patterns, memory, and systems and neural network approaches, gradient-based sys-
adaptive learning features. The AIS is more robust than genetic tems, data mining, image classification, optimal dispatch, and
algorithms and particle swarm, because its process searches electric vehicle recharge in distribution systems [17]–[20].
for solutions over an entire search space, avoiding premature AISs are used here because they present the following char-
convergence for local minima. Previous papers have applied acteristics: uniqueness, recognition of foreigners, anomaly de-
AIS for multiobjective optimization purposes with success tection (noise tolerance), reinforcement learning and memory,
[17], [18]. Differently from them, this paper takes advantage of and pattern recognition [19]. These features allow AISs to
graph theory, in particular Prim's algorithm, due to its capacity search for good quality solutions for problems, even if they
to generate minimum spanning trees during the evolutionary have never been faced before, to use the best available solution
process. The proposed approach is not only an improvement of while looking for a better one, and to store the best individuals
the AIS algorithm computational performance, but constitutes from the population on the memory.
a novel and robust method to assess feasible solutions for real
The authors in [2] argued that the computational time for the
reconfiguration problem is not a primary concern because the Distribution system reconfiguration has called for the devel-
main goals of distribution operation planning are to reduce both opment and application of some tools and methodologies; these
power losses and load balance. This is true for planning stages, are presented in the following sections.
but for real operation purposes, great computational times make
the algorithm application unfeasible. A. Load Flow in Distribution Systems
For a nontrivial multiobjective optimization problem, there Load flow is a basic concept in electric power system
is no single solution that simultaneously optimizes all objec- studies. Load flow problems are commonly solved using
tives. In such a case, the objective functions are said to be con- Newton-Raphson and its decoupled methods. In distribution
flicting, and there exists a (possibly infinite number of) Pareto systems, however, they have poor convergence features due to
optimal solutions. A solution is called non-dominated, if none a high R/X rate, unbalanced phase loads and radial topology.
of the objective functions can be improved in value without de- Having better convergence features are other methods like
grading some of the other objective values. Without additional backward-forward sweep and Z-bus matrix. This paper applies
subjective preference information, all Pareto optimal solutions the backward-forward sweep method presented in [21]. It
are considered equally good (as the vectors cannot be ordered consists of a three-phase approach applying phase components
completely). The goal may be to find a representative set of and considering mutual impedances among them. The network
Pareto optimal solutions and/or quantify the trade-offs in sat- topology is represented by an incidence matrix.
isfying the different objectives and/or find a single solution that In the backward step, the algorithm assesses the current in all
satisfies the subjective preferences of a human decision maker. branches, from the bottom nodes to the top one, by using the
nodal load and incidence matrix. In the forward step, the nodal
II. ARTIFICIAL IMMUNE SYSTEMS voltages are updated according to the branches' voltage drop,
Several evolutionary computation techniques have been since top node to bottom ones. The process converges when all
employed to solve optimization problems. These techniques nodal voltages are within a given tolerance.
mimic, in a computational way, biological systems or processes,
B. Prim's Algorithm
such as the nervous system, meiosis and immune systems.
The immune system is a complex of cells, molecules and or- Prim's algorithm finds in an undirected and weighted con-
gans that represent an identification mechanism capable of per- nected graph, a minimum spanning tree. Hence, it is capable
ceiving and combating dysfunction from humans' own cells and of finding a subset of the edges forming a tree that includes all
the action of exogenous infectious microorganisms. It recog- vertices of the initial graph, without any loops, where the total
nizes an almost limitless variety of infectious foreign cells and weight of the edges of the tree is the minimum possible.
substances, distinguishing them from those native noninfectious The algorithm continuously increases the size of a tree, one
cells [19]. edge at a time, starting with a tree consisting of a single vertex,
Being exposed to an antigen, B lymphocytes respond by until it spans all vertexes. Its steps are described below:
producing antibodies. Each cell secretes a single type of anti- • Input: A non-empty connected weighted graph with vertex
body, which is relatively specific for the antigen. By binding to V and edges E (the weights can be negative);

Fig. 1. Three-phase linear diagram and graph representation.

• Initialize: , where x is an arbitrary node Fig. 2. Graph network to calculate PIEFI.

(starting point) from V, ;
• Repeat until :
• Choose an edge (u, v) with minimal weight such that u is
in and v is not (if there are multiple edges with the
same weight, any of them may be picked);
• Add v to , and (u, v) to ;
• Output: and describe a minimal spanning tree.
The electrical distribution network can be represented by con-
nected graphs. Any individual feeder, as in Fig. 1, can be con-
sidered a tree, which is an undirected graph where two vertices
are connected by only one path, without loops. For the tree de-
picted in Fig. 1, the areas or branches correspond to the nodes
and the switches are the edges of the graph, numbered from 1 to
6. This comparison enables presenting the distribution system
as a forest, a set of disconnected trees [22]. Fig. 3. Adjacency matrix for faults inspection.
Then, it is possible to create, through the Prim algorithm,
a random radial distribution network represented by a graph
without loops or islanding areas, if the weight of the nodes is
matrix lines. For instance: if the fault were happening in Sector
known. Since the Prim algorithm guarantees the construction of
(node) 4, this would affect nodes 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8, and would
a connected tree, in a graph with weights on the edges, a process
not affect Nodes 1, 2, or 3. This happens because the recloser
that assigns weights to the edges can be used to obtain a viable
CH-3 would isolate the fault. Then the elements of the 4th row,
set of networks. This capacity is used in this paper and is pre-
the position (column) of which coincides with the numbers of
sented in Section IV.
affected nodes, will be 1 and the other elements unaffected will
This procedure is explained in the Methodology section.
be 0.
C. Power Interruption Equivalent Frequency Index The PIEFI can be calculated by (1):

The power interruption equivalent frequency index (PIEFI)

has, during a given period of time, a typical number of inter-
ruptions within a distribution power system. Obviously, such a
value varies from system to system. Generally the time consid-
ered is one year and the power system can be a region, substa-
tion, or feeder system. This index is similar to SAIFI, and is
calculated through an analytical technique. This technique can
be described as follows. For example, consider Fig. 2.
This system has 8 switch elements: 1 circuit breaker,
2 reclosers, 4 switches, and 1 fuse. With this information the i.e.,
adjacency matrix is built, as depicted in Fig. 3. This square
matrix gives topological information about the system, and
it's possible, in case of a fault with a specific node, to see the (1)
affected areas by inspection, looking for non-zero elements on

where Equation (6) means that the objective vector cannot be im-
proved in any dimension without degrading another. Now it is
fault rate;
possible to define the Pareto optimal set P, on (7), as the set of
node i installed power; all non-dominated Pareto solutions:
j-i element of the reached matrix.

D. Distribution System Reconfiguration It is also possible to define the Pareto front F, on (8), which
are the objective function points in the space corresponding to
Aiming to reduce power losses and improve the reliability
the Pareto optimal set points, i.e., . Pareto front solutions
index, the Distribution System Network is reconfigured. This
are qualitatively equivalent:
is done by closing NO and opening NC switches. In addition
to power loss minimization and reliability index optimization, (8)
some restrictions related to nodal voltage levels, branches'
ampacity, and systems' radiality are taken into account. The This paper proposes the use of the concept of antibody as fit-
problem can be described as shown in (2) and (3): ness of multiobjective problem-based to the dominance index.
Although the non-dominated solutions could be used, the idea of
using the dominance index is to keep some antibodies to main-
tain their diversity.

This section presents the simulations that were carried out.
First, the methodology employed is described.

A. Methodology
1) Creating the Initial Population: One of the great prob-
lems of reconfiguring radial distribution systems (especially
when using heuristics based on artificial intelligence, like AIS)
is defining a methodology to generate the initial population. In
addition to this, there is the problem of how to code a particular
individual of this population. In AIS, each individual is called
an antibody.
The simplest way to define an initial population is through a
where combinatorial of N binary elements whose respective positions
n are associated with a specific switch, i.e., each individual is en-
branch number;
coded as in (9):
l maximum number of branches;
Vm nodal voltage at node m;
Amp where is the switch state. Its status is 0 if the switch is open;
ampacity, maximum current capacity;
otherwise it is 1. By applying this codification, a set of individ-
Pi power outage “i”; uals is created (or in this case, AIS antibodies), without con-
Pt total system power; trol over the viability of these systems. As a consequence, is-
m total outage numbers. landed sections or loops may appear. The universe of configu-
rations is equal to , where N is the total number of switches
To solve this problem, one can apply AIS with considerations in the system, of which only a small fraction corresponds to ra-
of Pareto Dominance, as in [18]. According to the Pareto dom- dial configurations. Consequently, this situation leads to ineffi-
inance concept, a solution is said to dominate solution ciency in the performance of an algorithm searching for optimal
when the following two conditions are satisfied: configuration.
• Solution is not worse than for any objective, i.e., Other methodologies have been explored in the literature,
e.g., in [23], Prufer numbers are used to encode distribution net-
(4) works, without checking the system's radial characteristics. In
[24] the authors represented the individuals by a string of inte-
• Solution is strictly better than for at least one objec-
gers (chromosome), whose dimension is the number of discon-
tive, i.e.,
nected lines in the network. Therefore, the length of the string
(5) depends on the number of loops in the system. Another proce-
dure, as in [25], uses the predecessor method for reducing the
This relation is denoted as . universe of feasible solutions.
Otherwise, a solution is said to be Pareto optimal or a This paper uses a methodology based on the Prim Algorithm.
non-dominated solution, according to (6), when This produces a set of N feasible forests, each forest corre-
sponding to a set of radial feeders (trees) obtained at random
(6) and with different weights.

Fig. 4. Forest (distribution network) generated according to edge weights.


For any system, a vector is created of length equal to the

number of switches in the system, where each element from
this vector is associated with one and only one edge, i.e., a
switch. The value of this element is generated randomly and
corresponds to the weight of this edge, which is used to obtain Fig. 5. AIS flowchart.
M random configurations. M is the initial population size. For
the 14-bus sample system, the set of random weights is shown
in Table I and the forest generated (distribution network) is de- • These elements (antibodies) are sorted according to their
picted in Fig. 4. The dashed line indicates that the switch is open. affinity, which is determined after the evaluation of the
This step ensures that all first generation antibodies constitute Fitness (Pareto Rules) for each Antibody. To antibodies
a feasible set, by reducing the search space and eliminating non- with voltage violations are assigned values of affinity suf-
viable antibodies from the beginning of the searching process, ficiently small;
e.g., loops and single and multiple islands. • A set of M higher affinity antibodies is created;
2) Codification: In [1], this codification and a recombina- • In the next step, each antibody selected is cloned propor-
tion methodology are presented with the aim of preserving the tionally to their affinity;
radial structure. The AISs do not use recombination, as in [1], • The population of clones is submitted to a hypermutation
but a hypermutation operator instead. Basically this involves scheme, where the hypermutation is proportional to their
random changes of status of any switches. The “mutation” oper- affinity;
ator picks any switch randomly and changes its status. For this • Power flow and loss calculations are evaluated for every
sake, the inverse probability associated with the affinity of its clone, and these results are sorted (by affinity);
antibody is considered. Later, the topology obtained is analyzed • If the clone is better than the original antibody, it is replaced
and eventually corrected to keep the radial mode and avoid the by that clone, otherwise the antibody is maintained;
isolated nodes. If a loop then appears, one switch is opened at • The number of iterations constitutes the stopping criterion.
random to keep its radial mode. In case of islanding, the closest The Fitness is calculated by (10):
switch to the islanded section is closed, provided that doing so
does not result in a loop. (10)
3) Clonal Selection Principle: The next step is the applica-
tion of the Clonal Selection principle, as seen in the flowchart where ID is obtained after applying the Pareto dominance rules
of Fig. 5 and described below. and it is the amount of better solutions than individual “i” solu-
• First, the initial population is generated using the Prim Al- tion. N is the number of solutions (antibodies). If the Fitness is
gorithm; equal to 1, this solution is called a non-dominated solution. This


Fig. 6. Initial configuration of 14-bus test system.

Fig. 7. Distribution network encoding.

Fig. 8. 14-bus test system non-dominated solution.

means no solution exists that is better than this one. This solu-
tion forms part of the Pareto Front. In the next chart the steps of
the Solution Algorithm with AIS are described.

B. Results
1) 14-Bus System: The 14-bus system data can be found in
[24] and used in the test was a value of pu. Fig. 9. Pareto Front of solutions for the 14-bus test system.
According to the proposed methodology, the initial topology
is shown in Fig. 6. Each antibody is encoded similarly to the
method proposed in [1]. That is, the initial antibody, according Pareto Front Solutions obtained by the AIS methodology. Re-
to the proposed methodology, would be as seen in Fig. 6. In this member that N1 is the set of normal closed switches and N2 is
antibody codification, N1 is the normally closed switch set and the normal opened switches. Observing the previous solutions
N2 is the normally open switch set. from Table II depicted in Fig. 9, it is possible to see the opti-
For the initial 14-bus system configuration depicted on Fig. 6, mization of the multiobjective problem, minimizing both vari-
N1 and N2 elements are depicted in Fig. 7. The system base ables for all cases.
adopted was 100 MVA and 23 kV. 2) ANDE System, CBO-01 Feeder: The Paraguayan elec-
This methodology gives a set of viable antibodies with high tric distribution system is composed of 23-kV feeders. These
affinity. After applying the optimization routine, a set of solu- feeders may have a combination of overhead lines with con-
tions (configurations) was obtained, shown in Table II, i.e., each ventional or covered conductors, and also underground lines.
column of this table shows the set of Normal Closed Switches Its topology may have three phase and single phase lines. In
N1 and the set of Normal Opened Switches N2 for each configu- this study, the feeder features are typical of a region with urban
ration of the Pareto Front (antibody). It is also possible to see the and a rural portion. Rural areas have single-phase transformers
set of non-dominated solutions (values of objective functions) and even single-phase distribution lines. In general, due to this,
of the Pareto Front. Fig. 8 depicts the non-dominated solution there is load imbalance in these feeders. This feeder has 74 load
from Column 1. buses, 18 switches, 15 branches and many possibilities of loops
From Fig. 9, one can see the evolution of the solutions. The (therefore, the same load may have more than one possibility
“ ” indicates the initial Pareto Front and with “o” the final of supply). The feeder under study is one of three feeders of

Fig. 10. CBO-01 Initial Feeder graph. Fig. 11. Non-Dominate solution CBO-01 Feeder graph.


Fig. 12. Pareto Front of solutions for the CBO-01 23-kV System.

measured in relation to the time required by the IEEE 14-bus

system. Therefore, this system is the reference value, the bench-
mark against which the real distribution system is compared
with. Considering the 14-bus case convergence time as 1 pu,
the ANDE CBO-01 real system convergence time is 1.74 pu.
This means that the ANDE system has a convergence time
74% bigger than the former. This difference is rather slight
Coronel Bogado Substation. The supply voltage level is 23-kV considering that the real system has 74 load buses, 14 branches,
phase-phase, the demand estimated is 98 Amperes by phase with and 18 switches, and the test system has only 14 load bus and
average power factor of 0.92. This feeder supplies power to a 16 switches, i.e., ANDE system is five times bigger and much
small population of approximately 22 000 people. more complex.
According to the methodology, the network graph tree con-
sidering the switches' place is as shown in Fig. 10. Table III de-
picts the set of solutions of the Pareto Front and the set of vi-
able configurations. This case was performed considering an ini- This paper deals with the problem of distribution systems re-
tial population of 100 antibodies obtained by the methodology configuration. Depending on the operation policy of the elec-
outlined above, 10 clones for each antibody, elitism of 20 anti- tricity utility of a certain area, this can prioritize loss reduction or
bodies, mutation probability inversely proportional to its affinity improvement in the continuity of service indicator. The creation
(0.05 pu minimum), and a stopping criteria of 30 generations. of a viable set of antibodies through the methodology based on
One of the optimal configurations is shown in Fig. 11. In this the Prim algorithm improves the performance of the heuristic.
case the loss reduction and the values of PIEFI are 5 kW and The AIS characteristics make it particularly interesting for
38.58 t/y, respectively. applications in this type of integer programming problems. Mat-
Fig. 12 depicts the Pareto Front. This shows the potentiality uration operator provides a local minimum search tool, pre-
of the proposed methodology. The computational times are senting an opportunity to solve the problem of reconfiguring

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Comput., vol. 11, no. 5, pp. 4021–4028, 2011. M.Sc. degree in electrical engineering from the Federal University of Itajubá
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large-scale distribution systems,” IEEE Trans. Power Del., vol. 17, pp. ANDE (National Electric Administration) and he is part-time Professor with
1070–1078, 2002. the National University of Itapúa.
[9] I. Roytelman, V. Melnik, S. S. H. Lee, and R. L. Lugtu, “Multi-obje-
tive feeder reconfiguration by distribution management system,” IEEE
Trans. Power Syst, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 661–667, May 1996.
[10] C. H. N. de Resende B., M. H. Soares M., and J. A. de Vasconcelos,
“Robust feeder reconfiguration in radial distribution networks,” Elect. D. Q. Oliveira received the B.Sc. degree in electrical engineering from Fed-
Power Energy Syst., vol. 54, pp. 619–630, 2014. eral University of Maranhão (UFMA), Sao Luis, Brazil, and the M.Sc. degree
[11] N. Gupta, A. Swarnkar, and K. R. Niazi, “Distribution network in electrical engineering from Federal University of Itajuba (UNIFEI), Itajuba,
reconfiguration for power quality and reliability improvement using Brazil.
genetic algorithms,” Elect. Power Energy Syst., vol. 54, pp. 664–671, His research interests include distribution systems, smart grids, and electric
2014. vehicles.
[12] N. Gupta, A. Swarnkar, K. R. Niazi, and R. C. Bansal, “Multi-objec-
tive reconfiguration of distribution systems using adaptive genetic al-
gorithm in fuzzy framework,” IET Gener., Transm., Distrib., vol. 4, no.
12, pp. 1288–1298, 2010. A. C. Zambroni de Souza received the Electrical Engineering degree from the
[13] T. Niknam, “An efficient multi-objective HBMO algorithm for dis- State University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1987, the M.Sc. degree in electrical
tribution feeder reconfiguration,” Expert Syst. Applicat., vol. 38, pp. engineering from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro in 1990,
2878–2887, 2011. and the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Waterloo,
[14] A. Kavousi-Fard and T. Niknam, “Multi-objetive stochastic distribu- Waterloo, ON, Canada, in 1995.
tion feeder reconfiguration from the reliability point of view,” Energy, Currently he is an Associate Professor at the Federal University of Itajuba,
vol. 64, pp. 342–354, 2014. Itajuba, Brazil.