Author Identifiers

Hossein Parast Vand
ORCID: 0000-0001-8169-7097

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Engineering

First Advisor

Dr Octavian Bass

Second Advisor

Dr Stefan Lachowicz

Third Advisor

Dr Airlie Chapman


The growing size and complexity of power systems has given raise to the use of complex network theory in their modelling, analysis, and synthesis. Though most of the previous studies in this area have focused on distributed control through well established protocols like synchronization and consensus, recently, a few fundamental concepts from graph theory have also been applied, for example in symmetry-based cluster synchronization. Among the existing notions of graph theory, graph symmetry is the focus of this proposal. However, there are other development around some concepts from complex network theory such as graph clustering in the study.

In spite of the widespread applications of symmetry concepts in many real world complex networks, one can rarely find an article exploiting the symmetry in power systems. In addition, no study has been conducted in analysing controllability and robustness for a power network employing graph symmetry. It has been verified that graph symmetry promotes robustness but impedes controllability. A largely absent work, even in other fields outside power systems, is the simultaneous investigation of the symmetry effect on controllability and robustness.

The thesis can be divided into two section. The first section, including Chapters 2-3, establishes the major theoretical development around the applications of graph symmetry in power networks. A few important topics in power systems and smart grids such as controllability and robustness are addressed using the symmetry concept. These topics are directed toward solving specific problems in complex power networks. The controllability analysis will lead to new algorithms elaborating current controllability benchmarks such as the maximum matching and the minimum dominant set. The resulting algorithms will optimize the number of required driver nodes indicated as FACTS devices in power networks. The second topic, robustness, will be tackled by the symmetry analysis of the network to investigate three aspects of network robustness: robustness of controllability, disturbance decoupling, and fault tolerance against failure in a network element.

In the second section, including Chapters 4-8, in addition to theoretical development, a few novel applications are proposed for the theoretical development proposed in both sections one and two. In Chapter 4, an application for the proposed approaches is introduced and developed. The placement of flexible AC transmission systems (FACTS) is investigated where the cybersecurity of the associated data exchange under the wide area power networks is also considered. A new notion of security, i.e. moderated-k-symmetry, is introduced to leverage on the symmetry characteristics of the network to obscure the network data from the adversary perspective. In chapters 5-8, the use of graph theory, and in particular, graph symmetry and centrality, are adapted for the complex network of charging stations. In Chapter 5, the placement and sizing of charging stations (CSs) of the network of electric vehicles are addressed by proposing a novel complex network model of the charging stations. The problems of placement and sizing are then reformulated in a control framework and the impact of symmetry on the number and locations of charging stations is also investigated. These results are developed in Chapters 6-7 to "robust" placement and sizing of charging stations for the Tesla network of Sydney where the problem of extending the capacity having a set of pre-existing CSs are addressed. The role of centrality in placement of CSs is investigated in Chapter 8. Finally, concluding remarks and future works are presented in Chapter 9.

Access Note

Chapters 7 and 8 are not available in this version of the thesis.