An Alternating Trust Region Algorithm for Distributed Linearly Constrained Nonlinear Programs Application to the AC Optimal Power Flow

A novel trust region method for solving linearly constrained nonlinear programs is presented. The proposed technique is amenable to a distributed implementation, as its salient ingredient is an alternating projected gradient sweep in place of the Cauchy point computation. It is proven that the algorithm yields a sequence that globally converges to a critical point. As a result of some changes to the standard trust region method, namely a proximal regularisation of the trust region subproblem, it is shown that the local convergence rate is linear with an arbitrarily small ratio. Thus, convergence is locally almost superlinear, under standard regularity assumptions. The proposed method is successfully applied to compute local solutions to alternating current optimal power flow problems in transmission and distribution networks. Moreover, the new mechanism for computing a Cauchy point compares favourably against the standard projected search as for its activity detection properties.

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