Machine learning approaches for improving condition-based maintenance of naval propulsion plants

Andrea Coraddu, Luca Oneto, Aessandro Ghio, Stefano Savio, Davide Anguita, Massimo Figari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Citations (Scopus)


Availability, reliability and economic sustainability of naval propulsion plants are key elements to cope with because maintenance costs represent a large slice of total operational expenses. Depending on the adopted strategy, impact of maintenance on overall expenses can remarkably vary; for example, letting an asset running up until breakdown can lead to unaffordable costs. As a matter of fact, a desideratum is to progress maintenance technology of ship propulsion systems from breakdown or preventive maintenance up to more effective condition-based maintenance approaches. The central idea in condition-based maintenance is to monitor the propulsion equipment by exploiting heterogeneous sensors, enabling diagnosis and, most of all, prognosis of the propulsion system's components and of their potential future failures. The success of condition-based maintenance clearly hinges on the capability of developing effective predictive models; for this purpose, effective use of machine learning methods is proposed in this article. In particular, authors take into consideration an application of condition-based maintenance to gas turbines used for vessel propulsion, where the performance and advantages of exploiting machine learning methods in modeling the degradation of the propulsion plant over time are tested. Experiments, conducted on data generated from a sophisticated simulator of a gas turbine, mounted on a Frigate characterized by a COmbined Diesel eLectric And Gas propulsion plant type, will allow to show the effectiveness of the proposed machine learning approaches and to benchmark them in a realistic maritime application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-153
Number of pages18
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part M: Journal of Engineering for the Maritime Environment
Issue number1
Early online date25 Jul 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016


  • asset decay forecast
  • COmbined Diesel eLectric And Gas propulsion plant
  • condition-based maintenance
  • gas turbine
  • machine learning


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