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Frontiers of Engineering Management >> 2018, Volume 5, Issue 4 doi: 10.15302/J-FEM-2018034

Bayes estimation of residual life by fusing multisource information

College of Systems Engineering, National University of Defense Technology, Changsha 410073, China

Accepted: 2018-11-02 Available online: 2018-11-29

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Residual life estimation is essential for reliability engineering. Traditional methods may experience difficulties in estimating the residual life of products with high reliability, long life, and small sample. The Bayes model provides a feasible solution and can be a useful tool for fusing multisource information. In this study, a Bayes model is proposed to estimate the residual life of products by fusing expert knowledge, degradation data, and lifetime data. The linear Wiener process is used to model degradation data, whereas lifetime data are described via the inverse Gaussian distribution. Therefore, the joint maximum likelihood (ML) function can be obtained by combining lifetime and degradation data. Expert knowledge is used according to the maximum entropy method to determine the prior distributions of parameters, thereby making this work different from existing studies that use non-informative prior. The discussion and analysis of different types of expert knowledge also distinguish our research from others. Expert knowledge can be classified into three categories according to practical engineering. Methods for determining prior distribution by using the aforementioned three types of data are presented. The Markov chain Monte Carlo is applied to obtain samples of the parameters and to estimate the residual life of products due to the complexity of the joint ML function and the posterior distribution of parameters. Finally, a numerical example is presented. The effectiveness and practicability of the proposed method are validated by comparing it with residual life estimation that uses non-informative prior. Then, its accuracy and correctness are proven via simulation experiments.

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