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Conference Papers Year : 2022

Towards increased interpretability of AI-based tools in the energy sector with focus on the wind energy trading application


Standard practice of decision-making in energy systems relies largely on complex modeling chains to address technical constraints and integrate numerous sources of uncertainty. The increased penetration of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) such as wind and photovoltaic plants adds complexity due to the weather dependency of their electricity production. Artificial Intelligence (AI) based tools have proven their efficiency in different applications in the energy sector ranging from forecasting to optimization and decision making. They permit to simplify modeling chains and to improve performance due to higher learning capabilities compared to state-of-the-art methods. However, decision-makers of the energy sector need to understand how decision-aid tools construct their outputs from the data. AI-based tools are often seen as black-box models and this penalizes their acceptability by end-users (traders, power system operators a.o.). The lack of interpretability of AI tools is a major challenge for the wider adoption of AI in the energy sector and a fundamental requirement to better support humans in the decision-aid process. Agents of energy systems expect very high levels of reliability for the various services they provide. As energy systems are impacted by multiple uncertainty sources (e.g. available power of RES plants, climate change, market conditions), developed AI tools should not only be performant on average situations but be able to guarantee robust solutions in the case of an extreme event. Therefore, our research focuses on understandable representations of data-driven decision-aid models for human operators in the energy sector. In order to enhance the interpretability of the AI models, a technique borrowed from the computer science domain is explored and further developed. Genetic programming and more precisely Symbolic Regression is used to derive a symbolic representation for the data-driven model that can take the form of a single equation. This equation results according to a specific reward function. The optimal solutions are selected naturally mimicking the biological theory of survival of the fittest. The main outcome is the production of symbolic representations of the AI models that require minimum changes when applied to different case studies. In this presentation a real-world use-case is considered, to demonstrate the added value of the proposed tools for decision making when trading the production of wind and solar power plants to the day-ahead market. An annual period of data is considered to train and test the proposed model. The typical modeling chain involves as many as 12 models for forecasting RES production and market quantities together with stochastic optimization to derive trading decisions. This complex chain is here replaced by a single AI-based model. Such simplification is a significant enhancement to the modeling chain interpretability and facilitates trust to the human decision-maker. This work is carried out in part in the frame of the European project Smart4RES supported by the H2020 Framework Program and in part in the frame the Marie-Curie COFUND project Ai4theSciences
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hal-03710698 , version 1 (02-09-2022)


  • HAL Id : hal-03710698 , version 1


Konstantinos Parginos, George Kariniotakis, Ricardo Bessa, Simon Camal. Towards increased interpretability of AI-based tools in the energy sector with focus on the wind energy trading application. WindEurope Technology Workshop 2022, WindEurope, Jun 2022, Bruxelles, Belgium. ⟨hal-03710698⟩
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