Tip of the Week #70                     Tip Index

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"Process Control with Intelligence: A Unified Approach"

by Jon Paul Van Buskirk, PC AI, May/June 2000, pp. 20-23.

Modelers of complex systems should read this. Few systems are as complex as a chemical plant. There are thousands of variables ... a system that defies direct assault with formulas from chemistry and physics.  A better approach is to model based upon actual plant data.

This is sometimes called "linearization" for simple systems: developing formulas that predict the system's behavior.  Regression is key to this approach.

In process control, we are interested in a tool for trouble-shooting, control and optimization.  Some of the techniques Van Buskirk describes briefly include:

With a good model, then analysis leading to improvements can begin:

This short article has 9 illustrations (screen shots) and a bibliography.  If you're modeling a complex system, this article is worth a look.

More generally, I recommend PC AI (artificial intelligence on PC's) for people interested in leading-edge topics including: expert systems, pattern recognition, natural language processing, data mining, robotics, regression, neural networks, simulated annealing, and genetic algorithms.  I've subscribed for over a decade.

—John Schuyler, May 2000.

Copyright 2000 by John R. Schuyler. All rights reserved. Permission to copy with reproduction of this notice.