This paper presents a new multiagent–based differential evolution (MADE) approach to the reactive power dispatch problem. Reactive power dispatch problem can be formulated as a mixed–integer non–linear optimisation problem. The proposed method integrates multiagent systems (MASs) and differential evolution (DE) algorithm. An agent in MADE represents an individual to DE and a candidate solution to the optimisation problem. All agents live in a lattice like environment, with each agent fixed on a lattice point. In order to obtain optimal solution quickly, each agent competes and cooperates with its neighbours and it can also use knowledge. Making use of these agent–agent interaction and DE mechanism, MADE realises the purpose of minimising the value of objective function. In this study, the proposed MADE, DE and PSO are applied to minimise the transmission losses on standard IEEE 14, 30 and 57 bus test systems. Simulations results are compared with DE, PSO and existing methods reported in the literature. The results show that the proposed method converges to better solutions much faster than the earlier methods.
Keywords: multi–agent systems, MAS, differential evolution, reactive power dispatch, agent–based systems, loss minimisation, power systems, nonlinear optimisation