A Bayesian approach to fault isolation with application to diesel engine diagnosis

University dissertation from Stockholm : KTH

Abstract: Users of heavy trucks, as well as legislation, put increasing demands on heavy trucks. The vehicles should be more comfortable, reliable and safe. Furthermore, they should consume less fuel and be more environmentally friendly. For example, this means that faults that cause the emissions to increase must be detected early. To meet these requirements on comfort and performance, advanced sensor-based computer control-systems are used. However, the increased complexity makes the vehicles more difficult for the workshop mechanic to maintain and repair. A diagnosis system that detects and localizes faults is thus needed, both as an aid in the repair process and for detecting and isolating (localizing) faults on-board, to guarantee that safety and environmental goals are satisfied.Reliable fault isolation is often a challenging task. Noise, disturbances and model errors can cause problems. Also, two different faults may lead to the same observed behavior of the system under diagnosis. This means that there are several faults, which could possibly explain the observed behavior of the vehicle.In this thesis, a Bayesian approach to fault isolation is proposed. The idea is to compute the probabilities, given ``all information at hand'', that certain faults are present in the system under diagnosis. By ``all information at hand'' we mean qualitative and quantitative information about how probable different faults are, and possibly also data which is collected during test drives with the vehicle when faults are present. The information may also include knowledge about which observed behavior that is to be expected when certain faults are present.The advantage of the Bayesian approach is the possibility to combine information of different characteristics, and also to facilitate isolation of previously unknown faults as well as faults from which only vague information is available. Furthermore, Bayesian probability theory combined with decision theory provide methods for determining the best action to perform to reduce the effects from faults.Using the Bayesian approach to fault isolation to diagnose large and complex systems may lead to computational and complexity problems. In this thesis, these problems are solved in three different ways. First, equivalence classes are introduced for different faults with equal probability distributions. Second, by using the structure of the computations, efficient storage methods can be used. Finally, if the previous two simplifications are not sufficient, it is shown how the problem can be approximated by partitioning it into a set of sub problems, which each can be efficiently solved using the presented methods.The Bayesian approach to fault isolation is applied to the diagnosis of the gas flow of an automotive diesel engine. Data collected from real driving situations with implemented faults, is used in the evaluation of the methods. Furthermore, the influences of important design parameters are investigated.The experiments show that the proposed Bayesian approach has promising potentials for vehicle diagnosis, and performs well on this real problem. Compared with more classical methods, e.g. structured residuals, the Bayesian approach used here gives higher probability of detection and isolation of the true underlying fault.