Unifying System Health Management and Automated Decision Making

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Health management of complex dynamic systems has evolved from simple automated alarms into a subfield of artificial intelligence with techniques for analyzing off-nominal conditions and generating responses. This evolution took place largely apart from the development of automated system control, planning, and scheduling (generally referred to in this work as decision making). While there have been efforts to establish an information exchange between system health management and decision making, successful practical implementations of integrated architectures remain limited. This article proposes that rather than being treated as connected yet distinct entities, system health management and decision making should be unified in their formulations. Enabled by advances in modeling and algorithms, we believe that a unified approach will increase systems' resilience to faults and improve their effectiveness. We overview the prevalent system health management methodology, illustrate its limitations through numerical examples, and describe a proposed unified approach. We then show how typical system health management concepts are accommodated in the proposed approach without loss of functionality or generality. A computational complexity analysis of the unified approach is also provided.

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