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Monitoring and Control of Information-Poor Systems: An Approach Based on Fuzzy Relational Models by Arthur L. Dexter

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1

Characteristics of Information-Poor Systems

1.1 Introduction to Information-Poor Systems

The term information poor was first used by Howell in 1991 to describe systems in which the quality of the information about the system is poor and/or the quantity of the information about the system is low (Howell, 1991).

Such plants may have a bare minimum of sensors available with which to operate the process, the sensors may output at frequencies which are low relative to the dynamics of the plant, … and there may be considerable uncertainty surrounding any models that are available. (Howell, 1994)

The term was originally proposed as an antonym to describe systems that were not information rich. The main properties of information-poor systems are poor-quality measurement systems, relatively low-frequency data collection, susceptible to unknown, abnormal modes of operation and inaccurate models.

A wide variety of engineering, biological and economic systems could be described as information-poor.

1.1.1 Blast Furnaces

The process inside a blast furnace is highly complex, and both time varying and spatially varying (Martin et al., 2007). The internal conditions are very difficult to monitor and the composition of the inputs (the fuel, the ore and the coke) varies in an unpredictable manner.

1.1.2 Container Cranes

A container crane is a complex, non-linear, multi-input multi-output system, which has significant measurement noise associated with its sensors and large external disturbances ...

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