A new general dynamical systems approach to data analysis is presented that allows one to track slowly evolving variables responsible for non-stationarity in a fast subsystem. The method is based on the idea of phase space warping, which refers to the small distortions in the fast subsystem's phase space that results from the slow drift, and uses short-time reference model prediction error as its primary measurement of this phenomenon. The basic theory is presented and the issues associated with its implementation in a practical algorithm are discussed. A vector-tracking version of the procedure, based on smooth orthogonal decomposition analysis, is applied to the study of a nonlinear vibrating beam experiment in which a crack propagates to complete fracture. Our method shows that the damage evolution is governed by a scalar process, and we are able to give real-time estimates of the current damage state and identify the governing damage evolution model. Using a final recursive estimation step based on this model, the time to failure is continuously and accurately predicted well in advance of actual failure.
One contribution of 15 to a Theme Issue ‘Exploiting chaotic properties of dynamical systems for their control’.
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