MSc projects in the Lydia Project

Prognostic Health Monitoring

Imagine you are the operator of a complex system such as an airplane, or a nuclear process plant. Suddenly an alarm goes off, followed by a series of alarms only a few seconds later as the disturbance propagates through the system. Although it has become clear that this incident calls for immediate action, you are still trying to come up with a diagnosis what is really going on, in order to determine what to do next. However, time is running out ...

Imagine it's 8 am, you rush to your car for this special meeting you simply can't afford to miss, and you're already late. You turn the ignition key and ... nothing happens. Game over ...

These are the moments you wished this extremely valuable piece of equipment (like your car) had any notion of intelligence referred to as Prognostic Health Monitoring (PHM). PHM software continuously monitors a system such as a car, a robot, a satellite, a nuclear plant, finds the root cause in case of system malfunction (diagnosis), and predicts system faults in the future (prognosis). In the nuclear plant case, PHM software would have diagnosed the root cause of the incident immediately after the first alarm, and would have suppressed the other alarms as being irrelevant and causing needless operator overload. In the case of your car, days ago PHM software would have diagnosed the battery to be under-performing, with the prognosis that the battery would not endure another of those severe mid-winter frost attacks.

Finding (and predicting) faults in a mechanical, electrical, and/or software system can be as complex as the system itself. Especially in emergency situations where immediate remedial action is required (e.g., a nuclear reactor overheats), human operators are not always capable of timely producing the accurate diagnosis that is required to determine the proper course of action. PHM software can provide the intelligence to assist of even replace humans in this diagnostic context.

The Lydia Project

The Lydia project aims at the development of a systems modeling language which enables the automatic generation of embedded software, that provides complex, expensive, possibly life-critical systems with the intelligence, such as PHM, needed for optimum reliable operation.

Lydia (Language for sYstem DIAgnosis) is a new modeling language to describe systems such as satellites, copiers, cars, in such a way that their behavior can be simulated, as well as analyzed for faults (fault diagnosis). In a simulation context, a Lydia model is compiled to a simulator. In the fault diagnostic context, a Lydia model is compiled to embedded, fault diagnostic software that continuously monitors the real system and tries to accurately isolate the root cause of any system malfunctioning. Of the above two contexts, the fault diagnostic application of Lydia is of particular interest, and is motivated by the increasing importance of model-based fault diagnosis in intelligent systems (read more about the rationale of the Lydia project here).

Master's Projects

Within the Lydia project, we offer a range of Master's projects. The following subjects provide a flavor of the opportunities. All projects typically involve a domain (literature) study, system analysis, Lydia coding (when modeling) and C coding (algorithms, compiler), experimentation, and thesis writing. Excellent computer science (system software) skills are required, supplemented by (in particular, in case of Lydia modeling) a sufficient understanding and interest in engineering domains such as electrical engineering, physics engineering, and/or mechanical engineering.

Some Master's projects can also be carried out at the Computer Science Faculty at the University of Valladolid via the ERASMUS student exchange program.


For further information feel free to contact me: Arjan J.C. van Gemund
Associate Professor, Delft University of Technology (