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See detailIs Big Data Sufficient for a Reliable Detection of Non-Technical Losses?
Glauner, Patrick UL; Migliosi, Angelo UL; Meira, Jorge Augusto UL et al

in Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Intelligent System Applications to Power Systems (ISAP 2017) (2017, September)

Non-technical losses (NTL) occur during the distribution of electricity in power grids and include, but are not limited to, electricity theft and faulty meters. In emerging countries, they may range up to ... [more ▼]

Non-technical losses (NTL) occur during the distribution of electricity in power grids and include, but are not limited to, electricity theft and faulty meters. In emerging countries, they may range up to 40% of the total electricity distributed. In order to detect NTLs, machine learning methods are used that learn irregular consumption patterns from customer data and inspection results. The Big Data paradigm followed in modern machine learning reflects the desire of deriving better conclusions from simply analyzing more data, without the necessity of looking at theory and models. However, the sample of inspected customers may be biased, i.e. it does not represent the population of all customers. As a consequence, machine learning models trained on these inspection results are biased as well and therefore lead to unreliable predictions of whether customers cause NTL or not. In machine learning, this issue is called covariate shift and has not been addressed in the literature on NTL detection yet. In this work, we present a novel framework for quantifying and visualizing covariate shift. We apply it to a commercial data set from Brazil that consists of 3.6M customers and 820K inspection results. We show that some features have a stronger covariate shift than others, making predictions less reliable. In particular, previous inspections were focused on certain neighborhoods or customer classes and that they were not sufficiently spread among the population of customers. This framework is about to be deployed in a commercial product for NTL detection. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Challenge of Non-Technical Loss Detection using Artificial Intelligence: A Survey
Glauner, Patrick UL; Meira, Jorge Augusto UL; Valtchev, Petko UL et al

in International Journal of Computational Intelligence Systems (2017), 10(1), 760-775

Detection of non-technical losses (NTL) which include electricity theft, faulty meters or billing errors has attracted increasing attention from researchers in electrical engineering and computer science ... [more ▼]

Detection of non-technical losses (NTL) which include electricity theft, faulty meters or billing errors has attracted increasing attention from researchers in electrical engineering and computer science. NTLs cause significant harm to the economy, as in some countries they may range up to 40% of the total electricity distributed. The predominant research direction is employing artificial intelligence to predict whether a customer causes NTL. This paper first provides an overview of how NTLs are defined and their impact on economies, which include loss of revenue and profit of electricity providers and decrease of the stability and reliability of electrical power grids. It then surveys the state-of-the-art research efforts in a up-to-date and comprehensive review of algorithms, features and data sets used. It finally identifies the key scientific and engineering challenges in NTL detection and suggests how they could be addressed in the future. [less ▲]

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See detailDistilling Provider-Independent Data for General Detection of Non-Technical Losses
Meira, Jorge Augusto UL; Glauner, Patrick UL; State, Radu UL et al

in Power and Energy Conference, Illinois 23-24 February 2017 (2017)

Non-technical losses (NTL) in electricity distribution are caused by different reasons, such as poor equipment maintenance, broken meters or electricity theft. NTL occurs especially but not exclusively in ... [more ▼]

Non-technical losses (NTL) in electricity distribution are caused by different reasons, such as poor equipment maintenance, broken meters or electricity theft. NTL occurs especially but not exclusively in emerging countries. Developed countries, even though usually in smaller amounts, have to deal with NTL issues as well. In these countries the estimated annual losses are up to six billion USD. These facts have directed the focus of our work to the NTL detection. Our approach is composed of two steps: 1) We compute several features and combine them in sets characterized by four criteria: temporal, locality, similarity and infrastructure. 2) We then use the sets of features to train three machine learning classifiers: random forest, logistic regression and support vector vachine. Our hypothesis is that features derived only from provider-independent data are adequate for an accurate detection of non-technical losses. [less ▲]

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See detailLarge-Scale Detection of Non-Technical Losses in Imbalanced Data Sets
Glauner, Patrick UL; Boechat, Andre; Dolberg, Lautaro et al

in Proceedings of the Seventh IEEE Conference on Innovative Smart Grid Technologies (ISGT 2016) (2016)

Non-technical losses (NTL) such as electricity theft cause significant harm to our economies, as in some countries they may range up to 40% of the total electricity distributed. Detecting NTLs requires ... [more ▼]

Non-technical losses (NTL) such as electricity theft cause significant harm to our economies, as in some countries they may range up to 40% of the total electricity distributed. Detecting NTLs requires costly on-site inspections. Accurate prediction of NTLs for customers using machine learning is therefore crucial. To date, related research largely ignore that the two classes of regular and non-regular customers are highly imbalanced, that NTL proportions may change and mostly consider small data sets, often not allowing to deploy the results in production. In this paper, we present a comprehensive approach to assess three NTL detection models for different NTL proportions in large real world data sets of 100Ks of customers: Boolean rules, fuzzy logic and Support Vector Machine. This work has resulted in appreciable results that are about to be deployed in a leading industry solution. We believe that the considerations and observations made in this contribution are necessary for future smart meter research in order to report their effectiveness on imbalanced and large real world data sets. [less ▲]

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See detailNeighborhood Features Help Detecting Non-Technical Losses in Big Data Sets
Glauner, Patrick UL; Meira, Jorge Augusto UL; Dolberg, Lautaro et al

in Proceedings of the 3rd IEEE/ACM International Conference on Big Data Computing Applications and Technologies (BDCAT 2016) (2016)

Electricity theft occurs around the world in both developed and developing countries and may range up to 40% of the total electricity distributed. More generally, electricity theft belongs to non ... [more ▼]

Electricity theft occurs around the world in both developed and developing countries and may range up to 40% of the total electricity distributed. More generally, electricity theft belongs to non-technical losses (NTL), which occur during the distribution of electricity in power grids. In this paper, we build features from the neighborhood of customers. We first split the area in which the customers are located into grids of different sizes. For each grid cell we then compute the proportion of inspected customers and the proportion of NTL found among the inspected customers. We then analyze the distributions of features generated and show why they are useful to predict NTL. In addition, we compute features from the consumption time series of customers. We also use master data features of customers, such as their customer class and voltage of their connection. We compute these features for a Big Data base of 31M meter readings, 700K customers and 400K inspection results. We then use these features to train four machine learning algorithms that are particularly suitable for Big Data sets because of their parallelizable structure: logistic regression, k-nearest neighbors, linear support vector machine and random forest. Using the neighborhood features instead of only analyzing the time series has resulted in appreciable results for Big Data sets for varying NTL proportions of 1%-90%. This work can therefore be deployed to a wide range of different regions. [less ▲]

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