Sequential Diagnosis by Abstraction

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S. A. Siddiqi
J. Huang


When a system behaves abnormally, sequential diagnosis takes a sequence of measurements of the system until the faults causing the abnormality are identified, and the goal is to reduce the diagnostic cost, defined here as the number of measurements. To propose measurement points, previous work employs a heuristic based on reducing the entropy over a computed set of diagnoses. This approach generally has good performance in terms of diagnostic cost, but can fail to diagnose large systems when the set of diagnoses is too large. Focusing on a smaller set of probable diagnoses scales the approach but generally leads to increased average diagnostic costs. In this paper, we propose a new diagnostic framework employing four new techniques, which scales to much larger systems with good performance in terms of diagnostic cost.

First, we propose a new heuristic for measurement point selection that can be computed efficiently, without requiring the set of diagnoses, once the system is modeled as a Bayesian network and compiled into a logical form known as d-DNNF. Second, we extend hierarchical diagnosis, a technique based on system abstraction from our previous work, to handle probabilities so that it can be applied to sequential diagnosis to allow larger systems to be diagnosed. Third, for the largest systems where even hierarchical diagnosis fails, we propose a novel method that converts the system into one that has a smaller abstraction and whose diagnoses form a superset of those of the original system; the new system can then be diagnosed and the result mapped back to the original system. Finally, we propose a novel cost estimation function which can be used to choose an abstraction of the system that is more likely to provide optimal average cost. Experiments with ISCAS-85 benchmark circuits indicate that our approach scales to all circuits in the suite except one that has a flat structure not susceptible to useful abstraction.

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