Kron Reduction of Graphs with Applications to Electrical Networks

Issue Number:
Volume Number:
Starting page
Ending page
Florian Dorfler; Francesco Bullo

paper Menu


Consider a weighted undirected graph and its corresponding Laplacian matrix, possibly augmented with additional diagonal elements corresponding to self-loops. The Kron reduction of this graph is again a graph whose Laplacian matrix is obtained by the Schur complement of the original Laplacian matrix with respect to a specified subset of nodes. The Kron reduction process is ubiquitous in classic circuit theory and in related disciplines such as electrical impedance tomography, smart grid monitoring, transient stability assessment, and analysis of power electronics. Kron reduction is also relevant in other physical domains, in computational applications, and in the reduction of Markov chains. Related concepts have also been studied as purely theoretic problems in the literature on linear algebra. In this paper we analyze the Kron reduction process from the viewpoint of algebraic graph theory. Specifically, we provide a comprehensive and detailed graph-theoretic analysis of Kron reduction encompassing topological, algebraic, spectral, resistive, and sensitivity analyses. Throughout our theoretic elaborations we especially emphasize the practical applicability of our results to various problem setups arising in engineering, computation, and linear algebra. Our analysis of Kron reduction leads to novel insights both on the mathematical and the physical side.


F. Dorfler and F. Bullo, "Kron Reduction of Graphs With Applications to Electrical Networks," in IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems I: Regular Papers, vol. 60, no. 1, pp. 150-163, Jan. 2013, doi: 10.1109/TCSI.2012.2215780.