Process Monitoring and Fault Prediction in Multivariate Time Series Using Bag-of-Words

Shenghan Guo, Weihong Guo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Multivariate time series (MTS) arise due to multisensor data collection in manufacturing. These data are complex in the sense that attributes have a varying scale, volitivity, continuity, and so on, and interattribute dependence also appears, which can mask the inherent information about system health status. Conventional machine learning-based process monitoring techniques are inefficient in predicting faults with MTS-their detection capability heavily relies on the input features, yet the classification power of MTS attributes is weakened by the complexity of multisensor data. Effective feature extraction is, therefore, necessary to facilitate fault prediction with MTS. This study proposes a fault prediction framework for MTS based on bag-of-words (BOW) feature extraction, statistical feature selection, and classification analysis. BOW models are for the first time adopted in a manufacturing context. Their superior capability in information preservation, local pattern recognition, and temporal effect accommodation has overcome the major limitations in current manufacturing practices with MTS. A comprehensive case study demonstrates the desirable performance of this framework on two MTS data sets from paper manufacturing and automotive manufacturing, as well as its superiority over conventional machine learning-based fault prediction. Note to Practitioners-Process monitoring in a multisensor environment has been a vital interest in manufacturing. The difficulty lies in the lack of detection power in many conventional techniques, e.g., control chart and logistic regression. A critical reason for such failure is the neglect of time effect in MTS-patterns associated with system faults tend to stretch a period, but a conventional control chart or classifier inspects each time stamp separately. Fault detection based on time series sequences is, therefore, essential. However, how to effectively extract features from MTS becomes a challenge. The framework proposed in this study adopts BOW models, specifically symbolic aggregate approximation (SAX), to extract features from MTS sequences, thus substantially improves the detection power against local patterns over time. Many manufacturing multisensor data are subject to such local patterns that point to the root cause of fault, so the proposed framework has a wide application in manufacturing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)230-242
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Bag-of-words (BOW)
  • feature extraction
  • multivariate time series (MTS)
  • symbolic aggregate approximation (SAX)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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