Diagnosis of a class of distributed discrete-event systems

P. Baroni, G. Lamperti, P. Pogliano, M. Zanella

IEEE Trans. on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics-Part A, 30 (6), 2000, 731-752



Discrete-event modeling can be applied to a large variety of physical systems, in order to support different tasks, including fault detection, monitoring, and diagnosis. The paper focuses on the model-based diagnosis of a class of distributed discrete-event systems, called active systems. An active system, which is designed to react to possibly harmful external events, is modeled as a network of communicating automata, where each automaton describes the behavior of a system component. Unlike other approaches based on the synchronous composition of automata and on the off-line creation of the model of the entire system, the proposed diagnostic technique deals with asynchronous events and does not need any global diagnoser to be built. Instead, the current approach features a problem-decomposition/solution-composition nature whose core is the online progressive reconstruction of the behavior of the active system, guided by the available observations. This incremental technique makes effective the diagnosis of large-scale active systems, for which the one-shot generation of the global model is almost invariably impossible in practice. The diagnostic method encompasses three steps: (1) reconstruction planning; (2) behavior reconstruction; and (3) diagnosis generation. Step 1 draws a hierarchical decomposition of the behavior reconstruction problem. Reconstruction is made in Step 2, where an intensional representation of all the dynamic behaviors which are consistent with the available system observation is produced. Diagnosis is eventually generated in Step 3, based on the faulty evolutions incorporated within the reconstructed behaviors. The modular approach is formally defined, with special emphasis on Steps 2 and 3, and applied to the power transmission network domain

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