Remaining useful life estimation for mechanical systems based on similarity of phase space trajectory

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

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2353-2360
Journal / PublicationExpert Systems with Applications
Issue number5
Online published4 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015


When evolving from a normal state to failure, mechanical systems undergo a gradual degradation process. Due to the nonlinearity of damage accumulation, degradation data always exhibit a distinctive trend and random fluctuations. It makes the prediction of remaining useful life (RUL) very difficult and inaccurate. The phase space trajectory reconstructed from the time series of degradation data is capable of reliably elucidating the nonlinear degradation behavior. In this paper, a novel method based on the similarity of the phase space trajectory is proposed for estimating the RUL of mechanical systems. First, the reference degradation trajectories are built with historical degradation data using the phase space reconstruction. Second, the similarities between the current degradation trajectory and the reference degradation trajectories are measured with a normalized cross correlation indicator, which is determined solely by the trajectory shape and is not interfered with the scaling and shifting of the trajectory. Trajectory shape and degradation stage matching algorithms are combined to find the optimal segments in the reference degradation trajectories compared with the current degradation trajectory. Finally, the RULs corresponding to the optimal matching segments are subjected to weighted averaging to obtain the RUL of the current degradation process. The proposed method is evaluated utilizing both simulated data in stochastic degradation processes and experimental data measured on an actual pump. The results show that the predicted RULs are very close to the actual RUL.

Research Area(s)

  • Normalized cross correlation, Phase space trajectory, Residual useful life, Similarity matching