To see how well it works, the scientists tested the software on data from a power grid in Poland consisting of 3,000 components and up to 10 million potential pairs of failure. Within 10 minutes, the algorithm weeded out 99 percent of failures, deeming them relatively safe. The rest were pairs that would turn into major blackouts if left alone. The calculations could be done on ordinary laptops.
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Turitsyn told MIT News that he plans to test the algorithm on bigger models - like the one that supplies the northeastern United States. In that case it will deal with a system that consists of more than 100,000 components and five billion potential pairs of failures.
If power companies can implement something like this power companies would have a chance to deal with problems while they are still small, and anticipate where failures might happen. At the very least they could get the workers and equipment ready to go near places where they are more likely to be needed.