Information Fusion of Conflicting Input Data

Sensors (Basel). 2016 Oct 29;16(11):1798. doi: 10.3390/s16111798.


Sensors, and also actuators or external sources such as databases, serve as data sources in order to realise condition monitoring of industrial applications or the acquisition of characteristic parameters like production speed or reject rate. Modern facilities create such a large amount of complex data that a machine operator is unable to comprehend and process the information contained in the data. Thus, information fusion mechanisms gain increasing importance. Besides the management of large amounts of data, further challenges towards the fusion algorithms arise from epistemic uncertainties (incomplete knowledge) in the input signals as well as conflicts between them. These aspects must be considered during information processing to obtain reliable results, which are in accordance with the real world. The analysis of the scientific state of the art shows that current solutions fulfil said requirements at most only partly. This article proposes the multilayered information fusion system MACRO (multilayer attribute-based conflict-reducing observation) employing the μBalTLCS (fuzzified balanced two-layer conflict solving) fusion algorithm to reduce the impact of conflicts on the fusion result. The performance of the contribution is shown by its evaluation in the scope of a machine condition monitoring application under laboratory conditions. Here, the MACRO system yields the best results compared to state-of-the-art fusion mechanisms. The utilised data is published and freely accessible.

Keywords: Dempster-Shafer theory; conflict; evidence theory; fuzzy set theory; information fusion; possibility theory; sensor fusion.