Generating scale-free topology for wireless neighborhood area networks in smart grid
Neighborhood area networks (NANs) are critical infrastructure in smart grid to support communications. With the development of wireless communication technologies, there is a great potential for large-scale wireless-mesh NANs to be deployed to smart grid systems. While there exist theoretical models of complex networks, they are not directly applicable in the generation of network topology for wireless-mesh NANs due to their lack of some specifications unique in smart grid, leading to difficulties in theoretical studies of smart grid NANs. Among various topological structures, scale-free networks are considered as a potential resolution. This paper proposes a systematic approach to generate scale-free topology of wireless-mesh NANs in smart grid. A theoretical analysis confirms the scale-free feature of the network topology generated from the approach. To reveal the characteristics of our approach in comparison with widely used models of general complex networks, simulations are conducted on various network parameters including network diameter, average path length, clustering coefficient, and fractal dimension. The simulation results show that our approach for generating wireless-mesh NAN topology is fundamentally different from these compared models, and thus is a new type of complex-network model. Specifically, our model is suitable for wireless-mesh NANs in smart grid.