Formal verification of wastewater treatment processes using events detected from continuous signals by means of artificial neural networks. Case study: SBR plant
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This paper proposes a modular architecture for the analysis and the validation of wastewater treatment processes. An algorithm using neural networks is used to extract the relevant qualitative patterns, such as "apexes", "knees" and "steps", from the signals acquired in the reaction tanks. These patterns, which show changes in the signals trend, are mapped to events in the process and logged using an appropriate XML format. The logs, in turn, are considered traces of the execution of a manufacturing process and validated using tools commonly applied for the Verification of Business Processes. The system has been applied to the data collected from a Sequencing Batch Reactor (SBR) for municipal wastewater treatment, equipped with probes for the on-line acquisition of signals such as pH, oxidation--reduction potential (ORP) and dissolved oxygen (DO). A SBR has turned out to be a suitable case study since the commonly acknowledged criteria for monitoring the biological processes (nitrification and denitrification) can be expressed in the form or qualitative constraints, which are easily translated into formal rules. The process logs, hence, are matched against these rules, which act as filters and quality classifiers. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.