<XML><RECORDS><RECORD><REFERENCE_TYPE>3</REFERENCE_TYPE><REFNUM>8840</REFNUM><AUTHORS><AUTHOR>Johnson,C.W.</AUTHOR></AUTHORS><YEAR>2007</YEAR><TITLE>Establishing Public Policy as a Primary Cause of Technological Failure: Did Market Deregulation Cause the North American Blackout, August 14th, 2003</TITLE><PLACE_PUBLISHED>T. Cant (ed.), 12th Australian Workshop on Safety-Related Programmable Systems (SCS'07), VOLUME XXXI, Conferences in Research and Practice in Information Technology, Australian Computer Society</PLACE_PUBLISHED><PUBLISHER>N/A</PUBLISHER><LABEL>Johnson:2007:8840</LABEL><KEYWORDS><KEYWORD>Accident analysis; root cause analysis; market deregulation; electricity distribution</KEYWORD></KEYWORDS<ABSTRACT>On the 14th August 2003, a complex combination of latent problems and catalytic events led to a domino-effect in which 50 million people suffered some interruption to their power supplies. Losses have been estimated between $5-10 billion. It is, therefore, one of the most wide reaching and serious ‘blackouts’ in a national power distribution network. The causes of this infrastructure failure included technical issues to do with network capacity and the algorithms used to predict potential distribution problems. It also had managerial and human factors causes; these arguably included an over-reliance on automated monitoring systems. The infrastructure failure also stemmed from governmental and regulatory intervention, which led to problems in the operation of the energy market. The following paper applies accident investigation techniques to represent and reason about the complex interactions between these causes. In particular, we show how Violation and Vulnerability (V2) diagrams help to map out the competing arguments for and against market deregulation as a causal factor in the engineering failures that led to the blackout.</ABSTRACT><NOTES>To accompany keynote - paper is shortened from this preprint.</NOTES><URL>http://www.dcs.gla.ac.uk/~johnson/papers/Public_Policy/johnson_blackout.pdf</URL></RECORD></RECORDS></XML>