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Alarm allocation for event-based process alarm systems


Dalapatu, P and Ahmed, S and Khan, FI, Alarm allocation for event-based process alarm systems, Proceedings of the10th IFAC International Symposium on Dynamics and Control of Process Systems, 18-20 December 2013, Mumbai, India, pp. 815-820. ISSN 1474-6670 (2013) [Refereed Conference Paper]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 IFAC

DOI: doi:10.3182/20131218-3-IN-2045.00158


The ability to monitor large numbers of variables and the flexibility to assign alarms to each variable led to a substantial increase in the numbers of alarms in industrial plants. This, in turn, increased the numbers of false and redundant alarms. In plant operations, the numbers of annunciated alarms regularly exceed the acceptable rates that operators can handle. To reduce the number of assigned alarms, a risk-based alarm system has been proposed in the literature (Ahmed et al. (2011); Chang et al. (2011)) where alarms are assigned to groups of variables instead of individual variables. This articles explores the options for grouping variables for alarm allocation. Several grouping methods are discussed and an event-based grouping procedure is detailed. Selection of the key variables for a group is performed using the information that the variables can have to distinguish between an abnormal and a normal condition. The concept of mutual information is used to quantify the information. Variables with high information gain are grouped together for each respective abnormal event. To identify the redundant variables within the groups to further reduce the number of variables to be monitored, the maximum cross-correlation between pairs of key variables are used. A case study using the example of a continuous stirred tank reactor is used to demonstrate the methodology. © IFAC.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Conference Paper
Keywords:alarm, alarm flooding, information theory, mutual information, variable allocation, industrial plants, information dissemination, information theory, process control, alarm, continuous stirred tank reactor, cross correlations, in-plant operations
Research Division:Engineering
Research Group:Engineering practice and education
Research Field:Risk engineering
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in engineering
UTAS Author:Khan, FI (Professor Faisal Khan)
ID Code:120787
Year Published:2013
Deposited By:NC Maritime Engineering and Hydrodynamics
Deposited On:2017-08-30
Last Modified:2017-10-17

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