Impact of Transport Layer Protocols on Reliable Information Access in Smart Grids

Kamal Shahid, Aamir Saeed, Thomas le Fevre Kristensen, Rasmus Løvenstein Olsen

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Time is critical for certain types of dynamic information (e.g. frequency control) in a smart grid scenario. The usefulness of such information depends upon the arrival within a specific frame of time, which in other case may not serve the purpose and effect controller’s performance. In this context, transport layer offers different levels of end-to-end communication services to the applications. For instance, TCP guarantees the transport of messages between two ends, however, at the cost of high end-to-end delays due to the retransmission mechanism. Whereas UDP offers minimum end-to-end delays at the cost of unreliable, best-effort data transportation service. The research question raised in this paper is thus, which is preferred for the delay-critical applications of smart grids, and to what degree of packet losses and round trip times, TCP is preferable to UDP and vice versa. The question is addressed by analyzing the performance of UDP and TCP over imperfect network conditions to show how the selection of transport layer protocol can dramatically affect controller’s performance. This analysis is based on a quality metric called mismatch probability that considers occurrence of events at grid assets as well as the information update strategy in one single metric which otherwise is not very intuitive and difficult to allow a similar useful comparison. Further, the analysis is concluded by providing a clear guide on the selection of the transport protocol to meet application requirements.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIEEE 2017 International Conference on Innovative Smart Grid Technologies - ISGT EUROPE 2017
Number of pages6
Publication date2017
Article number1271
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-5386-1953-7
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventIEEE International Conference on Innovative Smart Grid Technologies : ISGT Europe 2017 — Enabling the Transition to a More Electric World. - Torino, Italy
Duration: 26 Sep 201729 Sep 2017


ConferenceIEEE International Conference on Innovative Smart Grid Technologies
SeriesIEEE Power & Energy Society Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Conference (ISGT)


  • Mismatch Probability (mmPr); smart grids; TCP; UDP

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