Diagnostic Feature Designer is an interactive tool for processing ensemble
measurement data and extracting features that indicate the condition, such as
faulty, of the machines that produced the
data. The data can come from measurements on systems using sensors such as accelerometers,
pressure gauges, thermometers, altimeters, voltmeters, and tachometers. The main unit for
organizing and managing multifaceted data sets in the app is the data ensemble. An
ensemble is a collection of data sets, created by measuring or
simulating a system under varying conditions. Each row within the ensemble is a
member. Each member of the ensemble contains the same
variables, such as
The first step in using Diagnostic Feature Designer is to import source data into the app from your MATLAB® workspace. You can import data from tables, timetables, cell arrays, or matrices. You can also import an ensemble datastore that contains information that allows the app to interact with external data files. Your files can contain actual or simulated time-domain measurement data, spectral models or tables, variable names, condition and operational variables, and features you generated previously. Diagnostic Feature Designer combines all your member data into a single ensemble data set. In this data set, each variable is a collective signal or model that contains all the individual member values.
Before importing your data, it must already be clean, with preprocessing such as outlier and missing-value removal. For more information, see Data Preprocessing for Condition Monitoring and Predictive Maintenance.
During the import process, you select which variables you want to import, specify the variable types, and perform other operations to create the ensemble that you want to work with. When you click import, the app applies your specifications and creates an ensemble that contains your selected data. The following figure illustrates the overall import flow.
After you import your data once, you do not need to import it again for subsequent sessions. Save your session to store both the initial data ensemble and any derived variables and features you compute prior to saving. You can also export your data set to the MATLAB workspace, and save your data as a file that you can import in a subsequent session.
If you have a large number of ensemble members, consider creating a representative subset of members when you first start exploring the data and potential features in the app. Because the app is interactive, importing a large number of members can result in slower performance. Instead, you can develop and rank features interactively with the smaller data set, and then generate code that repeats the computations on the original data set.
For more information on data sources, ensembles, and variable types in predictive maintenance, see Data Ensembles for Condition Monitoring and Predictive Maintenance.
For signals, the app accepts individual member
timetable arrays, cell arrays, or numeric
matrices, each member containing the same independent variables, data variables, and
condition variables. For spectral data, the app accepts individual member
table arrays or
idfrd objects. The table describes the data requirements for variables within
|Signal data||Timetables, tables, cell arrays, or numeric arrays||For time-based data, timetables are recommended.|
|Signal independent variables (IVs)||Double, |
For each signal variable, all member IVs must be of the same type, whether your signal i based on time or on another IV such as consumption or duty cycles.
If your member data is stored in a matrix, you must have only one IV that applies to the full set of signals that you are importing.
If your data was uniformly sampled in time and you do not have recorded timestamps, you can construct a uniform timeline during the import process.
|Spectral data||Numeric (double) table or |
You cannot import spectra from matrices.
|Condition variables (CVs)||Scalar — Numeric, string, cell, or categorical||You can import condition variables along with your data in tables, timetables, or cell arrays, but not in matrices.|
|Features||Scalar — Numeric, string, or cell||You can import features that you computed previously, either externally or within the app itself.|
|Matrices||Purely numeric array that contains columns representing a single IV and any number of signals that share that IV. Cannot accommodate spectra. Cannot generally accommodate condition variables or features.|
Matrices cannot accommodate variable names.
You can import condition variables and features from a matrix if your data set contains only scalars and does not contain signals.
You can import data members individually or as an ensemble that contains all your data members. This ensemble can be any of the following:
An ensemble table containing
table arrays, cell arrays, or matrices. Table rows represent individual
An ensemble cell array containing tables, cell arrays, or matrices. Cell array rows represent individual members.
An ensemble datastore object such as a
simulationEnsembleDatastore object that contains the information necessary
to interact with files stored externally. Use an ensemble datastore object especially
when you have too much data to fit into app memory. Reading and writing to external
files during computations does impact performance, however. To create a representative
subset of the ensemble datastore files to work with, see
An ensemble matrix that contains only condition variables and features. Matrix rows represent individual members.
For more information about organizing your data for import, see Organize System Data for Diagnostic Feature Designer.
This workflow illustrates the steps for importing an ensemble table into the app.
Load your ensemble table into the MATLAB workspace. You can preview the data in the workspace variable browser, as
this example shows. In this case, the data set contains two time-based signals and a
scalar condition variable named
Open the app by entering
diagnosticFeatureDesigner at the command
line. Then, click New Session. This action opens the import dialog box.
In the Select more variables section, select your ensemble table from the menu.
The Source variables section displays the variables from your
ensemble. In the following example figure, the app identifies the
Tacho variables as time-based
signals that each contain
The third variable in the variable set for each signal,
(Virtual), is not checked.
Sample (Virtual) allows you to
generate an IV, especially when your source data set does not contain an explicit IV. For
more information on
Sample (Virtual), see Import Signal with No Time Variable.
The icons identify the variable type that the app assumes. The icon next to
faultCode, which illustrates a histogram, represents a feature. Both
features and condition variables are scalars, and the app cannot distinguish between the
two unless the condition variable is a categorical. To change a variable type, click the
variable name to open the variable properties in the Source variable
properties panel. Then, in Variable type, change
Feature to Condition Variable.
The icon for
faultCode now illustrates a label, which
represents a condition variable.
For signal and spectrum variables, you can also change the units that the app uses for
plotting and for other operations within the app. To do so, in the lower level variable
list of the signal or spectrum variable, click the name of the IV or data variable. The
Source variable properties panel provides a menu of options for
each property that you can modify. In the following example figure, Source
variable properties displays properties for the
variable of the
Vibration signal. The figure illustrates the selection
of Minutes from the menu of Units options.
In addition to providing options for variable properties such as
Type, the Source variable properties
displays a preview of your import data when you click the name of a signal or spectrum
variable. The following example figure shows the preview of the
Vibration data. The preview panel in the figure displays source data
for the first ten
Vibration samples of the first ensemble member, and
includes values for IV, data, and the sample index.
The preview panel displays source properties only. The preview panel does not reflect
any property modifications you make in the panel. For example, if you change the units of
Vibration signal from seconds to minutes, the preview panel still
displays the source units of seconds. When you complete the import, the app converts the
time data to minutes for use in the app.
Confirm the ensemble specification in the Summary section at the bottom of the dialog box. Click Import to execute the data import.
Confirm the import in the data browser. In this example, the two signals appear in the Signals & Spectra area. Click Datasets to view all the ensemble variables, including features and condition variables.
Vibration/Data and click Signal
Trace to plot the data and view the imported signals, as the following
example figure shows. For more information on plotting data, see
Import and Visualize Ensemble Data in Diagnostic Feature Designer.
This workflow describes the steps associated with importing ensemble members individually.
Load the individual member variables into your MATLAB workspace, open the app, and click New Session. The
Source menu displays a list of the files in your workspace. In the
example figure, there are 10 member files and one additional file,
sens2, that is not an ensemble member.
Select one of the variables that represents an ensemble member. In this example,
d1. The app opens a list of all compatible workspace
variables that contain the same internal variables. You can select any combination of
these variables or click Select All to select all of them at once.
Once you select your variables, the remaining import steps are the same as in Import Ensemble Table. The app combines the members you import into a single ensemble.
This workflow describes the import of signals from individual member matrices. When you import data in matrices, you must share one independent variable, such as a time variable, with all signals in the ensemble. You cannot import condition variables, features, or spectral data.
Load your matrices into the MATLAB workspace, and then initiate the import process by clicking New Session. In the Select more variables section, select one of your matrices and click Select All. For matrices, this section also displays a Use as feature option. This option applies to the special case where a matrix contains only scalar condition variables and features, and no signal data.
Because matrices are numeric, the app identifies each variable column by its column
index. In the example figure, there are four member matrices. The first column of each
matrix contains the IV representing time, and the second and third columns contain the
data values for vibration and tacho data. To preview the contents of the ensemble, in the
Source variables section, select the
The app interprets
Col1 as the IV because it is monotonic,
Col3 as signal data
If you cannot accurately represent your signals with a single time variable, convert your matrices into tables before import.
Click Import to complete the import. Confirm that the data browser contains the signals you want, as shown in the following example figure.
The app merges the matrices into an ensemble data set that contains the four matrices.
This workflow demonstrates that you can import matrices, but only with limitations. If you want to identify your variables by name, import condition variables or features, or use independent timelines for independent signals, convert your matrices to tables or cell arrays prior to import. For an example of converting a set of matrices to an ensemble table, see Prepare Matrix Data for Diagnostic Feature Designer.
This workflow illustrates how to import spectral data. You can import spectral data in two forms:
idfrd object that contains frequency and
spectrum data for a single spectrum in the
SpectrumData properties, respectively
A table that contains columns with the frequency and spectral data
When you import an
idfrd object, the app recognizes that the data
source is spectral, and defaults to the Spectrum variable type,
as the following example figure shows.
When you import spectral data in a table, the app defaults to the Signal variable type, but provides additional options for the Spectrum and Order Spectrum variable types. The following example figure illustrates the import of spectral data in a table.
You can also import order spectra that contain order rather than frequency information. Order spectra are useful for analyzing rotating machinery. Each order is a multiple of a reference frequency, such as the primary-shaft rotational frequency. The following example figure illustrates the import of an order spectrum.
When you complete the import, the Data Browser displays the spectra, as the following example figure shows.
This workflow illustrates how to generate a virtual IV if your data set includes signals that contain no IV. For instance, you might have a signal that was measured or generated in uniform time samples, but which does not include a vector of the actual time stamps. The app can generate a virtual timeline that contains the same sample rate.
Initiate the import process and select workspace variables to import. In the example
figure, the data source is a table that contains
Tacho variables. However, these variables contain only measurement
data and no time information. As always, the app provides a
(Virtual) option. In this case, since there is no IV in the data, the app
automatically selects this variable.
The default unit for a virtual IV is the sample index. You can modify this default
setting by selecting the
Sample (Virtual) name, which opens the
source properties. The following example figure displays the default properties.
If you know the sample time of the signal, you can reconstruct the time variable. To
do so, change Independent variable name to the name you want,
IV type to Time,
Unit to the time units you want, and Sampling
interval to the sample time. For example, consider that you know the sample
time for both
Tacho is 0.001 seconds.
The following figure shows how to set this sample time for
Note that these settings do not affect
Once you have reconstructed the IVs that you want, complete the import
process. You can view your reconstructed timelines by plotting your imported signals in
the app. The following figure shows plots for
Vibration, which has the
reconstructed timeline, and
Tacho, which retains the default IV of
This workflow describes the steps for specifying the signal sample index as an alternative IV when you also import a time variable or some other signal IV.
Initiate the import and select the data to import. In the Source
variables section, select
Sample (Virtual) and
view the properties. The following example figure illustrates this step. In this figure,
Vibration now has all three lower level variables selected. The
Source variable properties section displays the default IV type and
Sample (Virtual), which are Index
and samples, respectively. Note
that the figure also shows a checked selection box for
Vibration but a
filled selection box for
Tacho. This difference is because
Tacho contains a lower level variable that is not selected.
Perform the same operation on all variables for which you want to include the sample index. Complete the import process.
The app defaults to the IV type that you imported with the data. To switch to the sample index, in Computation Options, select Index, as the example figure illustrates.
All signals that include Index as an alternative IV type now use the sample indices rather than the time values. When you plot the data, the signal trace uses the sample data, as the following example figure shows.
This workflow describes the steps for importing a
fileEnsembleDatastore object or a
simulationEnsembleDatastore object. Ensemble datastore objects provide
information that allow the app to interact with external files. They include specifications
for the variables you want to read, the variable types, and the source file locations. After
you import an ensemble datastore, you can choose whether to store results within the app
memory or write the results back to the ensemble datastore. For more information about
ensemble datastores, see Data Ensembles for Condition Monitoring and Predictive Maintenance.
Initiate the import process and select the ensemble datastore. The app interprets the
variable types using the ensemble datastore properties for
The example figure illustrates the import of a
In the preceding example figure, the app interprets
ens as follows:
The data variables
appear identical in form to timetable-based variables extracted from tables.
ens includes the standard
SimulationInput in the
property. However, the app does not support the
data format and displays an orange warning icon. The app also automatically clears
the selection and deletes
CombinedFlag appears as a condition variable in accordance
Complete the import process.
Once you have imported the ensemble datastore, you can choose how the app interacts with the external files using Computation Options.
The app can interact directly with the files and write results, such as derived variables or features, directly to the files.
The app can store all results in memory. To retain these results outside of the session, you must export the data set or feature set to a table in your workspace. You can then choose the results you want to save. From the MATLAB command window, you can use ensemble datastore commands to update the external files with the results that you choose.
The following example figure illustrates this selection.