For many systems, automatic fault diagnosis is critical to ensuring safe and efficient operation. Fault isolation is performed by analyzing measured signals from the system, and reasoning over the system behavior to determine which faults have occurred, based on models of predicted faulty behavior. For dynamic systems, reasoning may be performed using qualitative analysis of the differences between measured signals and their predicted values, in which observations take the form of qualitative symbols. Such an approach is quick to isolate faults, but depends critically on correct generation of the qualitative symbols from the signals. In this paper, we develop an approach to qualitative event-based fault isolation for dynamic systems that is robust to incorrect qualitative observations. Observations are treated as uncertain, where multiple interpretations of an observation, each with its own probability, are considered. By interpreting observed symbols in a probabilistic manner, the approach degrades gracefully as the number of incorrectly-generated symbols increases. The approach is demonstrated on an electrical power system testbed, and experiments using real data obtained from the hardware demonstrate the improved fault isolation performance in the presence of incorrect symbol generation.
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