A model-based reasoning architecture for system-level fault diagnosis
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This dissertation presents a model-based reasoning architecture with a two fold purpose: to detect and classify component faults from observable system behavior, and to generate fault propagation models so as to make a more accurate estimation of current operational risks. It incorporates a novel approach to system level diagnostics by addressing the need to reason about low-level inaccessible components from observable high-level system behavior. In the field of complex system maintenance it can be invaluable as an aid to human operators. The first step is the compilation of the database of functional descriptions and associated fault-specific features for each of the system components. The system is then analyzed to extract structural information, which, in addition to the functional database, is used to create the structural and functional models. A fault-symptom matrix is constructed from the functional model and the features database. The fault threshold levels for these symptoms are founded on the nominal baseline data. Based on the fault-symptom matrix and these thresholds, a diagnostic decision tree is formulated in order to intelligently query about the system health. For each faulty candidate, a fault propagation tree is generated from the structural model. Finally, the overall system health status report includes both the faulty components and the associated at risk components, as predicted by the fault propagation model.