A novel networked process monitoring, fault propagation identification, and root cause diagnosis approach is developed in this study. First, process network structure is determined from prior process knowledge and analysis. The network model parameters including the conditional probability density functions of different nodes are then estimated from process operating data to characterize the causal relationships among the monitored variables. Subsequently, the Bayesian inference-based abnormality likelihood index is proposed to detect abnormal events in chemical processes. After the process fault is detected, the novel dynamic Bayesian probability and contribution indices are further developed from the transitional probabilities of monitored variables to identify the major faulty effect variables with significant upsets. With the dynamic Bayesian contribution index, the statistical inference rules are, thus, designed to search for the fault propagation pathways from the downstream backwards to the upstream process. In this way, the ending nodes in the identified propagation pathways can be captured as the root cause variables of process faults. Meanwhile, the identified fault propagation sequence provides an in-depth understanding as to the interactive effects of faults throughout the processes. The proposed approach is demonstrated using the illustrative continuous stirred tank reactor system and the Tennessee Eastman chemical process with the fault propagation identification results compared against those of the transfer entropy-based monitoring method. The results show that the novel networked process monitoring and diagnosis approach can accurately detect abnormal events, identify the fault propagation pathways, and diagnose the root cause variables. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 59: 2348–2365, 2013
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