J Combin Optim

Complexity and inapproximability results for the Power Edge Set problem

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We consider the single channel PMU placement problem called the Power Edge Set problem. In this variant of the PMU placement problem, (single channel) PMUs are placed on the edges of an electrical network. Such a PMU measures the current along the edge on which it is placed and the voltage at its two endpoints. The objective is to find the minimum placement of PMUs in the network that ensures its full observability, namely measurement of all the voltages and currents. We prove that PES is NP-hard to approximate within a factor (1.12)-ϵ, for any ϵ> 0. On the positive side we prove that PES problem is solvable in polynomial time for trees and grids.