Scalable simulation of cyber-physical power distribution systems


DistAIX (Distributed Agent-based SImulation of CompleX Power Systems) is a simulator for cyber-physical power distribution systems that makes use of high performance computing techniques to scale up the simulation. An agent-based modeling and simulation approach is applied to model the behavior of the electrical system as well as distributed control and decision-making processes. Communication between participants of the system (agents) is also modeled and simulated.

DistAIX uses the framework RepastHPC as basis for scalable agent-based modeling and simulation based on the Message Passing Interface (MPI). It relies on Cassandra, PostgreSQL and Google Protocol Buffers for a scalable management of simulation results. An Integration with VILLASnode as gateway(s) to other applications is also available. Scenario files in Common Information Model format (CIM) can be converted into the scenario format of DistAIX using CIMverter.

The source code and documentation can be obtained from GitLab of RWTH Aachen University: https://git.rwth-aachen.de/acs/public/simulation/DistAIXFramework/distaix

DistAIX Documentation:

DistAIX Scenario Generator

The DistAIX Scenario Generator is a Python tool to generate scenarios in the format of the DistAIX simulator. The tool is capable of creating new electrical grids / scenarios based on existing grids as well as from scratch. Custom topologies (networks of Slack/Trafo/Nodes) can be created and assembled with different types of consumers and producers (Load/CHP/EV/Wind…).

The source code and documentation can be obtained here: https://git.rwth-aachen.de/acs/public/simulation/DistAIXFramework/scenariogenerator


DistAIXweb is a web application that enables browsing, visualizing, and downloading of DistAIX simulation results stored in a database. It consists of a frontend and a backend part. The backend provides a REST-style interface with methods to view the metadata and get the results, which is used by the frontend to offer an easy way to access simulation results. The backend server application starts the frontend server automatically.

The source code and documentation can be obtained here: https://git.rwth-aachen.de/acs/public/simulation/DistAIXFramework/distaixweb


We kindly ask all academic publications employing components of DistAIX or associated software to cite at least one of the following papers:

  • S. Kolen, T. Isermann, S. Dähling and A. Monti, “Swarm behavior for distribution grid control,” 2017 IEEE PES Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Conference Europe (ISGT-Europe), Torino, 2017, pp. 1-6, DOI: 10.1109/ISGTEurope.2017.8260160
  • S. Kolen, S. Dähling, T. Isermann, and A. Monti, “Enabling the Analysis of Emergent Behavior in Future Electrical Distribution Systems Using Agent-Based Modeling and Simulation,” Complexity, vol. 2018, Article ID 3469325, 16 pages, 2018, DOI: 10.1155/2018/3469325
  • S. Dähling, S. Kolen, and A. Monti, “Swarm-based automation of electrical power distribution and transmission system support”, IET Cyber-Physical Systems: Theory and Applications, Volume: 3, Issue: 4, pp. 212-223, 2018, DOI: 10.1049/iet-cps.2018.5001

2019, Institute for Automation of Complex Power Systems, EONERC


GPLv3 logo

Unless otherwise indicated, DistAIX and all associated software is released as open source software under the GPLv3 license.

Other licensing options available upon request. Please contact Prof. Antonello Monti for further details.


For more information about DistAIX and associated software please contact:


Institute for Automation of Complex Power Systems (ACS) EON Energy Research Center (EONERC) RWTH University Aachen, Germany