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   -> Volume 6, Issue 8

Question: Machine Duty Cycle Analysis using Wavelets
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M J Darlington (

PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 1997 11:14 am    
Subject: Question: Machine Duty Cycle Analysis using Wavelets
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#20 Question: Machine Duty Cycle Analysis using Wavelets

Hi, This tyro needs help! As a small (but key) part of my research
into automating the design process I am trying to find a way of
extracting interesting features from the duty cycles of machines.

A duty cycle is a graphical representation of the force and velocity
requirement curves predicted for the machine (system) when performing
all its operations in a representative cycle of work.

I am motivated in this by the observation that human designers are
able to (and frequently do) use duty cycle curves to suggest the
initial solution to a design requirement.

The hypothesis is that, in some way, the information in the duty cycle
a) uniquely characterises the functional character of the system and
b) defining features in the duty cycles for a given system will be
recognisably similar to those of another system whose character (and
physical solution) are similar. In essence I am trying to find a way
of automatically classifying as similar functionally similar systems,
based (in part) upon their duty cycle 'footprints'.

I have just stumbled upon wavelets (for the first time) as a possible
mechanism for extracting the necessary information. I have attempted
some of the introductory papers on the subject, but being a
non-mathematician have found them rather daunting. In short I am
unable to answer my question: "Are wavelets what I need?" They seem to
show promise (cope with aperiodicity, discontinous curves, and steep
gradients) but I am not sure whether they are in principal able to
cope with e.g. a) rather short data series (i.e. a short signal) and
b) the variation in ordering between the operations that would still
result in the same fundamental character in a system. Perhaps
answering my question will depend on a fuller description (I am very
happy to give this), but I would appreciate any response or

Mansur Darlington, Research Officer
Engineering Design Centre in Fluid Power Systems
School of Mechanical Engineering
University of Bath
Claverton Down

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