Status update: final feature set for the 2012 simulation server
We are hoping to make a full release of the Power TAC simulation server and sample broker by 4/20, which is about 2 weeks later than I had hoped. Two items are holding us up:
Putting the final touches on the controllable-capacity feature, which will allow brokers to offer tariffs that allow for portions of customer loads to be temporarily curtailed (water heaters, heat pumps, etc.) along with the ability for brokers to exercise curtailment for economic reasons, and to offer portions of their controllable capacities to the Distribution Utility as balancing resources. At this point, the DU implementation of the balancing market is incomplete, and one of our customer models does not implement controllable capacity features.
Integrating the visualizer, along with a simple web-app to allow configuration, control, and inspection of the server.
All of these pieces are (I believe) within just a few days of completion. When it's all put together I will post a snapshot and let you all know, and once we feel it's reasonably stable I will put out a full release.
My question for broker developers is this: Is it too late in your development process to add the controllable capacity feature? It includes a minor change in the CustomerInfo representation, the ability to offer tariffs for curtailable loads (and sources), and the ability to curtail those capacities either directly or through the balancing process. Brokers will not be required to implement these features at all, of course, but for those who do, there will be a need to somehow adapt to the fact that curtailed loads get shifted into the future.
In case it matters, we have finalized the dates for this year's competition: There will be a qualifying round starting on 21 May, and finals on 4-5 June. Our intent is to run the qualifying round 24 hours/day, using up to six servers to keep two copies of each competing broker agent busy as much as possible. We expect to have a Tournament manager and a set of competition servers online in early May so you can start testing against it. This will require brokers to log into the tournament manager, which will assign them to servers dynamically. It will not be possible to post an exact schedule ahead of time because of the randomized game length, but we should be able to make rough predictions a few hours in advance.
Please let me know your preferences. We will do our best to accommodate your needs. I hope to see a lively competition with a solid, stable, predictable software infrastructure this year.
Over the next hour or two, I will be merging the controllable-capacity features into the master branch. Once that is done, server developers will need to move back to the master branch and/or update all modules other than genco and auctioneer. The visualizer works, but the market-based balancing is not quite complete, and the admin web-app is not yet integrated.
Re: Status update: final feature set for the 2012 simulation server
The controllable-capacity features are now all merged back into the master branch, and deployed to the snapshot repo. The sample-broker is also merged, and there are a couple of small examples of using interruptible tariffs and balancing orders in its portfolio manager.