Partial Discharges are short breakdowns inside electrical equipment. As they indicate weaknesses of the insulation strength, they are seen as important precursors to a failure of the system. Therefore measurement and analysis of the patterns of instances in time and strength of the discharge are an important tool to analyze the insulation status of electric equipment, that has been addressed already using different methods in the past. In this work we explore how a physics-based stochastic process can be combined with Approximate Bayesian Computation (ABC) as a new way to analyze them. ABC is a method to infer probability distributions of model parameters in cases, where the likelihood is not tractable, but simulations can be done easily. As such it is of interest for complex phenomena or measurement systems, as often found in prognostics applications. Especially the ABC-SMC method was found to be useful here. Real Partial Discharge measurement data was used not only for parameter estimation, but also to do model comparison in order to compare different physical models proposed in the literature.
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Stochastic process, Approximate Bayesian Computation, Prognostics
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