DClEVerNet: Deep Combinatorial Learning for Efficient EV Charging Scheduling in Large-scale Networked Facilities

Bushra Alshehhi, Areg Karapetyan, Khaled Elbassioni, Sid Chi-Kin Chau, Majid Khonji

With the electrification of transportation, the rising uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) might stress distribution networks significantly, leaving their performance degraded and stability jeopardized. To accommodate these new loads cost-effectively, modern power grids require coordinated or ``smart'' charging strategies capable of optimizing EV charging scheduling in a scalable and efficient fashion. With this in view, the present work focuses on reservation management programs for large-scale, networked EV charging stations. We formulate a time-coupled binary optimization problem that maximizes EV users' total welfare gain while accounting for the network's available power capacity and stations' occupancy limits. To tackle the problem at scale while retaining high solution quality, a data-driven optimization framework combining techniques from the fields of Deep Learning and Approximation Algorithms is introduced. The framework's key ingredient is a novel input-output processing scheme for neural networks that allows direct extrapolation to problem sizes substantially larger than those included in the training set. Extensive numerical simulations based on synthetic and real-world data traces verify the effectiveness and superiority of the presented approach over two representative scheduling algorithms. Lastly, we round up the contributions by listing several immediate extensions to the proposed framework and outlining the prospects for further exploration.

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