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Volume 9 Issue 4
Apr.  2022

IEEE/CAA Journal of Automatica Sinica

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Z. L. Yuan, X. R. Li, D. Wu, X. J. Ban, N.-Q. Wu, H.-N. Dai, and H. Wang, “Continuous-time prediction of industrial paste thickener system with differential ODE-net,” IEEE/CAA J. Autom. Sinica, vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 686–698, Apr. 2022. doi: 10.1109/JAS.2022.105464
Citation: Z. L. Yuan, X. R. Li, D. Wu, X. J. Ban, N.-Q. Wu, H.-N. Dai, and H. Wang, “Continuous-time prediction of industrial paste thickener system with differential ODE-net,” IEEE/CAA J. Autom. Sinica, vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 686–698, Apr. 2022. doi: 10.1109/JAS.2022.105464

Continuous-Time Prediction of Industrial Paste Thickener System With Differential ODE-Net

doi: 10.1109/JAS.2022.105464
Funds:  This work was supported by National Key Research and Development Program of China (2019YFC0605300), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (61873299, 61902022, 61972028), Scientific and Technological Innovation Foundation of Shunde Graduate School, University of Science and Technology Beijing (BK21BF002), Macao Science and Technology Development Fund under Macao Funding Scheme for Key R&D Projects (0025/2019/AKP), and Macao Science and Technology Development Fund (0015/2020/AMJ)
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  • It is crucial to predict the outputs of a thickening system, including the underflow concentration (UC) and mud pressure, for optimal control of the process. The proliferation of industrial sensors and the availability of thickening-system data make this possible. However, the unique properties of thickening systems, such as the non-linearities, long-time delays, partially observed data, and continuous time evolution pose challenges on building data-driven predictive models. To address the above challenges, we establish an integrated, deep-learning, continuous time network structure that consists of a sequential encoder, a state decoder, and a derivative module to learn the deterministic state space model from thickening systems. Using a case study, we examine our methods with a tailing thickener manufactured by the FLSmidth installed with massive sensors and obtain extensive experimental results. The results demonstrate that the proposed continuous-time model with the sequential encoder achieves better prediction performances than the existing discrete-time models and reduces the negative effects from long time delays by extracting features from historical system trajectories. The proposed method also demonstrates outstanding performances for both short and long term prediction tasks with the two proposed derivative types.


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    • Networks based on ODE-net perform better in continuous-time system prediction.
    • Stationary ODE-net outperforms the non-stationary ones in long-term prediction.
    • The ODE-nets with high-order solvers have better accuracy.
    • The time-delay in predicting thickening system is about 80min.


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