Bearing Performance Degradation Assessment Based on Ensemble Empirical Mode Decomposition and Affinity Propagation Clustering

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number8698835
Pages (from-to)54623-54637
Journal / PublicationIEEE Access
Online published25 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


As key components in a rotating machinery system, bearings affect the safety of the entire mechanical system. Hence, early-stage monitor of bearing degradation is critical to avoid abrupt mechanical system failure. In this paper, a novel bearing performance assessment model is constructed based on ensemble empirical mode decomposition (EEMD) and affinity propagation (AP) clustering. Unlike most clustering methods, AP clustering, which automatically finds the center of all available clusters, can determine the bearing degradation status without an experience-based selection of the number of degradation states. The original bearing vibration signal is first decomposed by EEMD and its degradation fault features are extracted from the singular-value decomposition of intrinsic mode functions. Then, the degradation features are selected as the input of AP clustering to find the cluster centers of different bearing health statuses: “normal”, “slight”, and “severe”. Last, a health evaluation indicator, referred to as the confidence value, which is obtained from the dissimilarity between actual samples and the various cluster centers, is used to evaluate the bearing health status. To prove the superiority of the approach, the proposed model is compared to various popular clustering methods, including, k-means, k-medoids, fuzzy c-means, Gustafson-Kessel, and Gath-Geva, and commonly used time-domain indicators such as root mean square and kurtosis. The experimental results show that the proposed method outperforms the above time-domain indicators and clustering methods in monitoring early-stage degradation, without presetting the number of clusters.

Research Area(s)

  • Affinity propagation clustering, bearings, ensemble empirical mode decomposition, performance degradation assessment

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