Joint loss learning-enabled semi-supervised autoencoder for bearing fault diagnosis under limited labeled vibration signals

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Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics


Rolling bearing is a critical component of machinery that has been widely applied in manufacturing, transportation, aerospace, and power and energy industries. The timely and accurate bearing fault detection thus is of vital importance. Computational data-driven deep learning has recently become a prevailing approach for bearing fault detection. Despite the progress of the deep learning approach, the deep learning performance is hinged upon the size of labeled data, the acquisition of which is expensive in actual implementation. Unlabeled data, on the other hand, are inexpensive. In this research, we develop a new semi-supervised learning method built upon the autoencoder to fully utilize a large amount of unlabeled data together with limited labeled data to enhance fault detection performance. Compared with the state-of-the-art semi-supervised learning methods, this proposed method can be more conveniently implemented with fewer hyperparameters to be tuned. In this method, a joint loss is established to account for the effects of labeled and unlabeled data, which is subsequently used to direct the backpropagation training. Systematic case studies using the Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) rolling bearing dataset are carried out, in which the effectiveness of this new method is verified by comparing it with other well-established baseline methods. Specifically, nearly all emulation runs using the proposed methodology can lead to around 2%–5% accuracy increase, indicating its robustness in performance enhancement.

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JVC/Journal of Vibration and Control