CONTENTS

FOREWORD xiii
PREFACE xv
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS xvii
1 PATTERN RECOGNITION AND THE MT SYSTEM 1
1.1 Overview of Pattern Recognition and the Fields of Application 1
1.1.1 Features of Human Pattern Recognition 1
1.1.2 Characteristics of Pattern Recognition Performed by Machines 2
1.1.3 Fields that Use Pattern Recognition Applications 3
1.2 Standard Execution Procedure for Pattern Recognition 4
1.2.1 Definition of Purpose 4
1.2.2 Definition of the Standard State 4
1.2.3 Definition of the Measurement Items 4
1.2.4 Preprocessing 5
1.2.5 Feature Extraction 7
1.2.6 Creation of a Recognition Function 7
1.2.7 Recognition Processing and Judgment Processing 7
1.2.8 Cause Diagnostics 7
1.3 Fields with Substantial Experience in the Use of
MT System Applications 8
1.3.1 Product Characteristics Inspection 8
1.3.2 Monitoring of Production Process and Equipment 12
1.3.3 Medical Applications 12
1.3.4 Economic Worth Estimation 13
2 MERITS OF THE MT SYSTEM AND ITS COMPUTATION METHODS 15
2.1 Characteristics Shared by all MT System Components 15
2.1.1 The “Unit Space” Concept 15
2.1.2 Examples of Unit Space 17
vii
viii • CONTENTS
2.1.3 Item Selection and Cause Diagnostics 19
2.1.4 MT System Architecture 23
2.2 Features of the MT Method 26
2.2.1 Overview 26
2.2.2 Example of Amount of Rainfall and Number of Umbrellas Sold 27
2.2.3 Computation of the Mahalanobis Distance 29
2.2.4 Supplementary Notes 32
2.3 Features of the T Method

33
2.3.1 Features of the T Method-1 33
2.3.2 Features of the RT Method (= T Method-3) 34
2.4 The MT System Computation Formulas 37
2.4.1 Computation Formula for the MT Method 37
2.4.2 Computation Formula for the T Method-1

40
2.4.3 Computation Formula for the RT Method (T Method-3) 46
3 DATA HANDLED BY THE MT SYSTEM AND FEATURE EXTRACTION 55
3.1 Use of Measured Values in an Unmodified Form 55
3.2 Performing Feature Extraction 55
3.3 Feature Extraction Technique from Character Pattern 57
3.4 Feature Extraction Technique from Waveform Pattern 58
3.4.1 Definitions of Variation and Abundance as
they Relate to Waveform Patterns 59
3.4.2 Meaning of Variation Value and Abundance
Value in a Waveform Pattern 61
3.5 Differences Between Other Waveform Features and
Variation Values/Abundance Values 62
3.5.1 Frequency Analysis 62
3.5.2 Wavelet 63
3.5.3 How Frequency Analysis and Wavelets Differ from
Variation and Abundance Values 63
4 MT METHOD APPLICATION PROCEDURE AND IMPORTANT POINTS TO HEED 65
4.1 Example of Character Recognition 65
4.1.1 Definition of a Unit Space 65
4.1.2 Feature Extraction 66
4.1.3 Computation of the Mahalanobis Distance of
Feature Space and Unit Data 67
4.1.4 Computation of the Mahalanobis Distance of
Unknown (Target) Data 72
CONTENTS • ix
4.1.5 Cause Diagnostics 74
4.1.6 Setting a Threshold 75
4.1.7 Unit Space Renewal 79
4.2 Example of Weather Prediction 80
4.2.1 Concepts Underlying Weather Prediction 80
4.2.2 Meteorological Data and Preprocessing 82
4.2.3 Definition of Unit Space 83
4.2.4 Rainfall Prediction Based on Target Data 83
5 T METHOD APPLICATION PROCEDURES AND KEY POINTS 87
5.1 Yield Prediction for Manufacturing-Production Using T Method-1 87
5.1.1 Definition of the Unit Space 88
5.1.2 Definition of Signal Data 89
5.1.3 Normalization of Signal Data 89
5.1.4 Computation of Proportional Coefficient and
SN Ratio of Each Item of Signal Data 90
5.1.5 Computation of Signal Data Integrated Estimate Value 94
5.1.6 Computation of the SN Ratio (db) for Integrated Estimate Value 95
5.1.7 Evaluation of the Importance of an Item 96
5.1.8 Integrated Yield Estimation for Unknown Data 98
5.1.9 Computation of Integrated Estimate Values
Before Normalization 99
5.2 Character Pattern Recognition Using the RT Method 104
5.2.1 Definition of the Unit Space 105
5.2.2 Computation of Sensitivity b and Standard
SN Ratio of Unit Space Samples 107
5.2.3 Computation of Two Variables Y
1
and Y
2
,
Unit Space Sample by Sample 108
5.2.4 Computation of Distances of Unit Space Samples 109
5.2.5 Signal Data 110
5.2.6 Sample-by-Sample Computation of Sensitivity and
Standard SN Ratio for Signal Data 111
5.2.7 Computation of Two Variables, Y
1
and Y
2
,
for Each Signal Sample 113
5.2.8 Mahalanobis Distance Computed for Each Sample 116
5.2.9 Computation of Mahalanobis Distance for Unknown Data 117
6 EXAMPLES OF ACTUAL APPLICATIONS 123
6.1 Blade Wear Monitoring via Cutting Vibration
Waveform (MT Method) 123
6.1.1 Purpose of Wear Monitoring 123
x • CONTENTS
6.1.2 Overview of the Cutting Operation
and the Vibration Measurement Method 124
6.1.3 Extraction of Features from Waveform Data 125
6.1.4 Definition of the Unit Space 126
6.1.5 Computation of the Mahalanobis Distance (MD)
and Processing of Judgment 127
6.2 Appearance Inspection of a Clutch Disk 128
6.2.1 Purpose that the Inspection System Serves 128
6.2.2 Composition of Image Capturing Unit 131
6.2.3 Conversion of Image Data into Waveform Patterns 131
6.2.4 Feature Extraction 132
6.2.5 Creation of a Unit Space 133
6.2.6 Computation of the Mahalanobis Distance (MD)
and Judgment Processing 133
6.2.7 Item Selection and SN Ratio 134
6.3 Monitoring of Machine Conditions (MT Method) 136
6.3.1 Purpose of Machine Monitoring and Measured Values 136
6.3.2 Definition of the Unit Space 136
6.3.3 Problems Left Unresolved with the Conventional
Control Format 137
6.3.4 Preprocessing and Feature Extraction 137
6.3.5 Mahalanobis Distance and Cause Diagnostics 138
6.4 Application to Medical Diagnosis (MT Method) 140
6.4.1 Purpose 140
6.4.2 Unit Space and Measurement Items 141
6.4.3 Comparison of Mahalanobis Distances and Results
of the Diagnoses of Physicians 142
6.4.4 Cause Diagnostics of Abnormalities and Their Patterns 143
6.5 Strength Estimation Based on Raw Material Mixing (T Method-1) 145
6.5.1 Overview of Raw Material Mixing Problems; Purpose
of Raw Material Mixing 146
6.5.2 Definition of the Unit Space 146
6.5.3 Definition of Signal Data 147
6.5.4 Normalization of Signal Data 148
6.5.5 Computation of Proportional Coefficient b and SN Ratio h 149
6.5.6 Computation of Integrated Estimated Strength
Value
ˆ
M for Each Data Item 149
6.5.7 Computation of Integrated Estimate SN Ratio (db) 150
6.5.8 Evaluation of Importance of Items 151
6.5.9 Integrated Estimation of Unknown Data 154
CONTENTS • xi
6.5.10 Computation of Integrated Estimate Value Before Normalization 155
6.5.11 Summing up the Raw Material Mixing Issues 157
6.6. Real Estate Price Prediction by T Method-1

160
6.6.1 Overview of Real Estate Price Prediction and its Purpose 160
6.6.2 Definition of Unit Space 161
6.6.3 Definition of Signal Data and Normalization 161
6.6.4 Computation of Proportional Coefficient b
and SN Ratio h of Signal Data 162
6.6.5 Computation of Integrated Estimation of Signal Data 162
6.6.6 Analysis of the Impact Green Assets Exert on Rental Fees 164
6.6.7 Merits of T Method-1 and Pending Issues 166
APPENDICES
A DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE MT SYSTEM AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE 169
A.1 The Learning Process in the Case of Artificial Intelligence 169
A.2 Parameters of Artificial Intelligence and the Properties
of Recognition Results 170
A.3 Differences in Properties Between the MT Method
and Artificial Intelligence 170
B DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE MT SYSTEM AND TRADITIONAL STATISTICAL THEORY 173
B.1 Difference Between the MT Method and the
Multivariate Control Chart 173
B.1.1 Overview of the Control Chart and the
Multivariate Control Chart 173
B.1.2 Differences Between the MT Method and the
Multivariate Control Chart 174
B.2 Difference Between Discriminate Analysis
and the MT Method 177
B.3 Differences Between T Method-1 and
Multiple Regression Analysis 178
B.3.1 Concept Behind Multiple Regression Analysis
and Computation Formula 178
B.3.2 Concept Behind T Method-1 180
C SUPPLEMENTARY CONSIDERATIONS CONCERNING MATHEMATICAL FORMULAS 183
D STRATEGY TO USE WHEN DATA INCORPORATES UNMEASURED VALUES 185
xii • CONTENTS
E FUSION WITH ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND OTHER RESOURCES 187
E.1 Example of a Cutting Vibration Waveform and Item Selection 187
E.2 Application of the Genetic Algorithm 189
F MAHALANOBIS DISTANCE COMPUTATION USING MICROSOFT EXCEL 191
G PALEY’S CONSTRUCT FOR GENERATION OF HADAMARD MATRICE 201
G.1 Quadratic Residue 201
G.2 Generation of Paley’s Cyclic Matrix 202
BIBLIOGRAPHY AND REFERENCE SOURCES 207
Bibliography (in English) 207
Bibliography (in Japanese) 207
References 208
GLOSSARY: DEFINITION OF TERMS 209
INDEX 211
ABOUT THE AUTHORS 219
FOREWORD
We live in uncertain times—uncertain economic times, uncertain political times, and times when
everyone is worried about what may happen in the future. Local activities can have regional or even
global consequences. But the Mahalanobis-Taguchi (MT) system is a beacon of light enabling us to
make some sense of this uncertain information and make some good predictions.
The MT system is a diagnostic and predictive method for analyzing patterns in multivariate
data that has provided benefits in many diverse applications over the past decade or so. It has
proven itself superior in many cases to more traditional artificial intelligence applications such as
neural nets.
ShoichiTeshima, Yoshiko Hasegawa, and Kazuo Tatebayashi, a group of eminent Japanese
mathematicians and engineers have produced Quality Recognition and Prediction: Smarter Pattern
Technology with the Mahalanobis-Taguchi System to show how the MT system applies in different
ways to benefit a wide variety of industrial, medical, and other applications.
This book discusses the subject in great detail and yet explains it in such a manner that someone
not intimately involved with the field can read the book and understand what pattern recognition is
and how the MT system works and how it may be applied.
It starts by giving an explanation of what pattern recognition technology is and how the MT
system has been applied to fields as diverse as industrial applications, medical applications, and real
estate valuation. It then goes on to discuss the merits of the MT system and how data is handled
followed by Unit Space and how it may be applied to weather forecasting and rainfall estimation.
After discussing how the Taguchi Method has been used for manufacturing yield prediction the
book then goes on to show several detailed applications of the Mahalanobis-Taguchi system from
industrial applications such as cutting blade wear and machinery monitoring to real estate price
prediction.
Finally the authors close by showing the differences between the MT system and more traditional
approaches such as artificial intelligence using neural nets and statistical methods.
Yokogawa Electric Corporation sees great potential for using the MT system in process
automation applications across a wide range of industries for quality management and improved
operations.
Dr. Maurice J. Wilkins
Vice President, Global Strategic Technology Marketing Center,
Yokogawa Electric Corporation
xiii
PREFACE
The MT System is based on the concept of employing Mahalanobis distance in pattern recognition
theory and is the result of the long association that Professor Genichi Taguchi had with the late
Indian statistician, Professor P. C. Mahalanobis. Based on ease of use, the MT System is rapidly
gaining practitioners in various disciplines in Japan.
The first actual case studies of the MT System were introduced in the 1980s and were primar-
ily used in the research of the Quality Engineering Society of Japan. The key areas utilizing the
technology at the time were plant and facilities surveillance, parts inspection, medical treatment
and pharmaceutics, and the statistical outcomes were extremely impressive. In addition to using
Mahalanobis distance for mathematical principles, Dr. Taguchi has proposed a number of pattern
recognition applications. While remaining quite simple and straightforward, this has provided enor-
mous advantages to the user.
Professor Taguchi has become distinguished around the globe for his Taguchi Method
TM
and
Robust Design

. In 1997, he was honored in the Automotive Hall of Fame in the U.S.; in 1998,
he was designated an honorary member of both the American Society for Quality (ASQ) and the
American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).
When asked, “What is it you can do with pattern recognition?” surely most people would
respond, “You can predict what something you see or hear is.” We understand traditional pattern
recognition to be the process of judging which pattern an object falls into, based on information we
already possess.
For example, in the area of medical treatment, a doctor categorizing patients by what disease
they might have, among a wide variety of possible conditions, is using a type of pattern recognition
that is known by a more familiar term, “diagnosis.” Until now, the field of pattern practice has fol-
lowed the same type of understanding. In other words, great importance has been devoted to defin-
ing abnormalities and what abnormalities are attributed to objects.
Professor Taguchi, however, began to believe “pattern recognition is measurement.” From that
point of view, the job of the physician becomes one of “measuring how far away the patient is from
a healthy state.” For this purpose, the theme of pattern recognition is “how to create a measuring
mechanism that calculates the degree of abnormality.”
The first step in creating this measuring mechanism is clear and simple. Normal data for
medical treatment is gathered from healthy people. In this situation, abnormal data is not neces-
sary. The mechanism to calculate the abnormality level does so using normal data along with
mathematical principles. The process of specifying what type of abnormality is offered, then, as
a subsequent step.
xv
xvi • PREFACE
The MT System has made pattern recognition a tool that is extremely easy to use. This is largely
because those using pattern recognition do not need to focus on the minute details of what kinds of
abnormalities exist. Consequently, in terms of recognition precision, the MT System demonstrates
results far superior to the other methods.
This work has been compiled with the following target audience in mind. Primary users will
include engineers and technicians involved in production and quality control, along with medi-
cal practitioners, who will have an interest in the MT System as direct practitioners. Why it is
important to accumulate accurate data to achieve the goals, how to measure the data, and what
information is necessary have all been explained in the work in detail. Another core user group
will be those concerned with pattern recognition research. The book covers all of the mathemati-
cal principles of the MT System in depth and, in a straightforward and easy-to-understand way. It
compares and contrasts the specific features of the system with artificial intelligence approaches,
etc. The mathematical principles themselves are not that difficult to grasp; in fact, it is more impor-
tant to understand the actual concepts. The book provides an abundance of examples, conveying
practical application and actual procedures in a step-by-step manner. Accordingly, the material will
also prove useful to students who wish to understand pattern recognition theory and how it is put
into practice in the field.
For many years, the authors have participated in numerous research projects under the tutelage
of Dr. Genichi Taguchi. They have listened to the professor’s thoughts and debated various issues
with him. The authors have illuminated and expanded upon the system that Professor Taguchi cre-
ated. In December of 2008, the authors published An Introduction to the MT System, JUSE Press.
This work has earned the support of numerous corporations and universities in Japan. The authors
anticipate extensive use of the MT System around the globe in conjunction with the publication of
this edition in English.
Shoichi Teshima
Yoshiko Hasegawa
Kazuo Tatebayashi
“Taguchi Method(s)
®
” and “Robust Design

” are trademarks
registered in the United States by ASI (American Supplier Institute)
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Many people have assisted us in the preparation of the publication of this book. First and foremost,
we wish to acknowledge the number one advocate of the MT System, Dr. Genichi Taguchi for his
countless contributions to our work as both a technical expert and a philosopher. We have the utmost
respect for him and thank him from the bottom of our hearts.
We offer our sincere gratitude to Dr. Tatsuji Kanetaka, physician at the former Tokyo Teishin
Hospital and Mr. Sohei Yoshino, real estate appraiser, as well as many others for their contributions
to the case study data.
We are grateful to Mr. Shin Taguchi of the American Supplier Institute (ASI) for his support
and consultation.
We wish to thank Ms. Hiroko Kobayashi, Ms. Shari J. Berman, and Mr. Terutoyo Taneda of
Japan Language Forum for their contributions in translating this work from Japanese to English.
We are grateful to JUSE Press for their support in publishing this book.
We thank Mr. Kenji Hasegawa of Yokogawa Electric Corporation, and Mr. Joel Stein and
Ms. Millicent Treloar of Momentum Press for their many kind efforts in coordinating the publication
of the English edition.
xvii
1
CHAPTER 1
PATTERN RECOGNITION
AND THE MT SYSTEM
What images will the words “pattern recognition” bring to mind for the reader? Many people may
think of fingerprint verification or voice recognition. These are, in fact, important applications of
pattern recognition. Recognition technologies extract a multitude of characteristics from image and
voice data and determine if they are consistent with any patterns in the database.
Many instances of pattern recognition deal with classification. However, prediction, as in
weather forecasting, is also a matter of pattern recognition. A large amount of meteorological infor-
mation that has accumulated right up to the present moment is utilized toward predicting the weather
for an unknown block of time that follows, such as the next day. Not only whether it will be clear or
rainy, but predictions also include how hot or cold, how wet it will be, etc.
In this way, pattern recognition is a processing procedure that classifies and predicts based on
a large volume of information. This chapter presents a general overview of pattern recognition and
various fields to which it is applied, followed by a look at the place that the Mahalanobis Taguchi
(MT) System occupies in the latest developments of pattern recognition.
1.1 OVERVIEW OF PATTERN RECOGNITION
AND THE FIELDS OF APPLICATION
1.1.1 FEATURES OF HUMAN PATTERN RECOGNITION
The illustration in Figure 1.1 shows traced images of the Mona Lisa painting.
There are rather subtle differences in drawings (a)–(c). With (a) as the basic pattern, the eyes in
(b) are slightly larger and the mouth is a bit wider in drawing (c). Nonetheless, one would be able to
regard each of these as an ordinary drawing of the Mona Lisa.
2 • QUALITY RECOGNITION AND PREDICTION
However, in (d) she has a somewhat sad expression. This is because her mouth is a different
shape. When it comes to drawing (e), the relative position of both her eyes and mouth is skewed,
making her look like a different person than the Mona Lisa that Da Vinci painted.
Human beings possess the natural ability to be able to look at something and make these dis-
tinctions. The ability to look at and distinguish images is called “Pattern Recognition.”
We perform pattern recognition frequently in our day-to-day activities. As part of our everyday
behavior, we read written characters; make determinations as to whether we need to take an umbrella
with us when going out, or not; make judgments in deciding whether to marry our sweetheart, and
so forth. These are all further examples of pattern recognition. The basis of our recognition, or judg-
ment, is experience and knowledge, which has accumulated over an entire lifetime.
Since early childhood, we have been patiently taught to read characters, and have become thor-
oughly familiar with the character patterns after having written the characters uncountable times.
Eventually, we develop an ability to recognize the characters even when they are written by others,
when they appear before us in italics, and so on. The acute perception, or “horse sense,” which expe-
rienced professionals develop in their specialized fields, is one form of pattern recognition.
Reputable doctors can determine their patients’ health conditions or diagnose what they are
suffering from simply by looking at their faces. Skilled engineers can identify the trouble with
a machine by the sound that it emits.
We are seldom aware of how people perform pattern recognition. It is so taken for granted that
most people have never even wondered about the process involved. Nonetheless, it is within the
purview of us thinking people to assume that some form of information processing is involved.
Many studies in biochemistry today are shedding a good deal of light on how animals, man
included, extract the essential “characteristics” from objects that are required for purposes of rec-
ognition, and how the brain performs sophisticated information processing on the basis of such
extracted characteristics.
1.1.2 CHARACTERISTICS OF PATTERN RECOGNITION
PERFORMED BY MACHINES
Pattern recognition technology is a technological solution through which man has machinery make
judgments and predictions that he would normally perform himself. Accordingly, this pattern
Figure 1.1. Traced images of the Mona Lisa.
(a) (b) (c) (d) (e)
PATTERN RECOGNITION AND THE MT SYSTEM • 3
recognition by machine has been an attempt to mimic acts of recognition by man or animals. Among
examples currently in practical use is, in addition to character recognition, individual identity verifi-
cation, which utilizes blood veins or iridal patterns. As with man, these technologies require teach-
ing data for learning to take place. Next, the group in the database in which the object data (unknown
data) can be classified and placed is determined.
There are many ways pattern recognition by machine differs from that of humans. Two are cited
here: One is that, in the case of machines, all data is treated as numerical values. The patterns are
all converted into numerical data by some means. Images themselves cannot be processed by the
computer. The manner in which the given information is converted into numerical data is determined
by man. Whether or not an appropriate conversion method is chosen holds the key to the accuracy
of pattern recognition.
The second point is that there is a big difference between the two in terms of the manner
of learning and recognition processing. In the case of man’s pattern recognition, the information-
processing device called the brain, which has been divinely supplied, handles the work. To varying
degrees, people’s brains and nerve cells may be structured and function differently from individual
to individual, but essentially they all perform the same work. (Of course, when it comes to high-
level information processing, the “thinking/reasoning method,” people differ from one another in a
rather serious way.)
On the other hand, a variety of recognition methods have been proposed for machines. That
means that many types of computation methods have been made available. One representative rec-
ognition method is an Artificial Neural Network (ANN). And in the context of the ANN, a number
of configurations and computation methods have been proposed. Another major recognition method
is a statistical mathematics approach, which in its own right has yielded a number of computation
formulas. Each method has unique characteristics, and various approaches have been utilized on
a problem-by-problem basis.
1.1.3 FIELDS THAT USE PATTERN RECOGNITION APPLICATIONS
Pattern recognition is applied quite extensively in diverse areas, as shown below:
Inspection, Diagnostics: Characteristic inspection, visual inspection, medical diagnosis
Monitoring: Machinery, equipment, plants
Estimation: Real estate appraisal, corporate worth evaluation, biotechnology evaluation
Prediction: Trends in health and illness, trends in economic indices, trends in sales, risk forecast
Classification, discrimination: Character recognition, voice recognition, fingerprint recognition,
face recognition, unacceptable-mode discrimination
Many countries are faced with problems that include the reduction of the labor force,
specialized work forces (engineers), etc. There are high hopes everywhere for the development
of pattern recognition that can be utilized extensively in the above-enumerated fields, with high
practical value.
4 • QUALITY RECOGNITION AND PREDICTION
1.2 STANDARD EXECUTION PROCEDURE
FOR PATTERN RECOGNITION
The generally practiced procedure for the execution of pattern recognition, as shown in Figure 1.2,
can be broken down broadly into three steps.
Figure 1.2. The standard pattern recognition execution procedure.
(3) Measure
(4) Preprocess
(5) Extract features
(6) Create recognition function
(7) Recognize & discriminate
(8) Diagnose for causes
Step 3 Step 2
(1) Clarify purpose
(2) Define normal
state
Step 1
1.2.1 DEFINITION OF PURPOSE
Clarify the purpose of the procedure. As it applies to the medical field, the purpose may be to quan-
tify the effect of treatment, predict symptoms for the following year, etc. There have been many
cases in which those involved became aware halfway through the process that resources were being
wasted precisely because the purpose of the procedure had not been clearly defined. In the same
respect, there are many cases in which, once the purpose is clarified, what to measure becomes clear.
1.2.2 DEFINITION OF THE STANDARD STATE
In the case of character recognition, the readability of the numeral “5” as “5” is the standard. From
a pool of handwritten and printed characters, all the characters readable as “5” are picked up and
will be defined as the standard state for “5.” Definition becomes somewhat difficult for equipment-
monitoring and inspection applications, but, as stated in 1.3.1 (2), focusing attention on the
“homogeneity with respect to the purpose” aspect will lead the way for a rational definition of
the standard-to-be state. Defining the standard state is indeed a crucial task that determines the
reference point for recognition.
1.2.3 DEFINITION OF THE MEASUREMENT ITEMS
The measurement items include sensor readings as well as data collected from patient interviews. In
the interests of achieving the purpose, it is important to acquire sufficiently accurate data. It happens
commonly enough that, despite the prepared list of measurement items, actual measurement does not
PATTERN RECOGNITION AND THE MT SYSTEM • 5
proceed with expected accuracy. Since no information processing can follow without observed data,
it is necessary, as much as possible, to have appropriate measuring instruments in place. Table 1.1
is a systematically organized list of observed values.
Table 1.1. Various measurement items
Measurement steps Measurement items
Values acquired by sensor
measurement
Temperature, relative humidity, electric current,
voltage, primary material component values,
pressure, torque, tension, revolution; vibration,
flow amount, electromagnetic flux; imagery,
luminosity, luminance, spectrum
Daily observed values Share prices, economic indicators, land transaction
prices, sales statistics
Other Patient interview data, sensorimetric values,
survey data
1.2.4 PREPROCESSING
It is possible to improve the ability to perform discrimination with raw data using noise elimination
and render it easier to handle through decomposition and/or division processing or normalization
processing.
1.2.4.1 Noise Elimination
One example of noise elimination is leveling. Use of a moving average, a median, etc. will smooth
and stabilize a waveform that includes noise. An example of leveling is shown in Figure 1.3. In the
processing of image data as well, leveling exhibits great effectiveness.
Figure 1.3. Example of leveling processing (for a moving average).
6 • QUALITY RECOGNITION AND PREDICTION
1.2.4.2 Information Decomposition Processing
It is necessary to extract the information when a fine vibration is not a noise, but part of
the feature of a phenomenon. For instance, as in Figure 1.4, with the use of the appropriate
method, a given waveform may have to be decomposed into a low-frequency component (using
a leveling process) and a high-frequency component to extract the characteristics of each
component.
Original waveform
High-freq. component Low-freq. component (leveling)
Figure 1.4. Decomposition into high-frequency and low-frequency components.
1.2.4.3 Division Processing
Division processing includes division of a given oscillation waveform into appropriate time widths,
division of a given image into specified regions, etc. Equipment monitoring produces time-series
data of a considerable length, and it is fairly common to divide the data load into so many time
widths of data for processing purposes.
1.2.4.4 Normalization Processing
A representative example of normalization is the correction of character pattern size and angle.
People correct character size and orientation unconsciously, but specific editing and other instruc-
tions need to be spoon-fed to the computer.
PATTERN RECOGNITION AND THE MT SYSTEM • 7
1.2.5 FEATURE EXTRACTION
People extract the essential features of the object before them unconsciously. For instance, when they
see someone’s face, they grasp the contours of the person’s entire face, eyes, and nose. But for pat-
tern recognition by computer, the human operator must provide a feature extraction method. Those
in the field say, “There is no royal road to characterization,” and this maxim is so true that there is
even a unique method to every problem. In the context of feature extraction, technical specialty and
identity assume a major significance, and the field has a prominently problem-dependent orientation.
1.2.6 CREATION OF A RECOGNITION FUNCTION
A recognition function is a function for obtaining recognition results on the basis of quantified
features. In the context of the MT System, the inverse matrix of the correlation matrix and the esti-
mation equation correspond to the recognition function.
1.2.7 RECOGNITION PROCESSING AND JUDGMENT PROCESSING
Recognition processing is, as Figure 1.5 shows, a process of feeding features collected from the
object of recognition to the recognition function and obtaining the result as a numerical value. The
acquired numerical value is compared against the threshold for judgment to be passed. However,
depending on the given problem, threshold-based judgment alone may not be enough, in which case
a separate judgment criterion is defined on an ad hoc basis. For instance, in the case of monitoring
based on time-series data, a result that exceeds the threshold only once will put the judgment on
hold; a result that exceeds the threshold continuously will be judged as No Good, that is, “abnormal.”
Figure 1.5. Conceptual illustration of pattern recognition processing.
Unknown (Target)
data (x
1
,x
2
,…,x
k
)
Recognition results
(numerical value)
Judgment
Recognition
function
1.2.8 CAUSE DIAGNOSTICS
Cause diagnostics refers to processing that determines when an object is judged to be abnormal,
and to which variable, or combination of variables, the causes are attributable. When this becomes
8 • QUALITY RECOGNITION AND PREDICTION
known, the information gained will make it possible to effectively address the abnormality.
Figure 1.6 is a sample display of the result of cause diagnostics. The graph makes it clear that two
variables stand out unmistakably as the causes of the abnormality.
Figure 1.6. Sample display of cause diagnostics.
Causes of abnormality
Variables
C
o
n
t
r
i
b
u
t
i
o
n

t
o

a
b
n
o
r
m
a
l
i
t
y
1.3 FIELDS WITH SUBSTANTIAL EXPERIENCE IN THE USE OF
MT SYSTEM APPLICATIONS
Many applications of the various computation methods and feature extraction techniques
incorporated in the MT System have been made public through presentations at the Quality
Engineering Society (Japan) and elsewhere. Some typical examples of such applications are
introduced below.
1.3.1 PRODUCT CHARACTERISTICS INSPECTION
1.3.1.1 Application to the Inspection of Electric and Mechanical Characteristics
Electric characteristics are generally measured as a response waveform, and the waveform in many
cases contains information usable for distinguishing normal from abnormal. One example given
to illustrate this point is the impulse test performed on motors and transformers. An impulse test,
as shown in Figure 1.7, is a method used to check for the presence of any abnormality on the basis
of the waveform occurring at the time of the release of the voltage applied to the coil.
A normal waveform will produce a locus that is largely homogeneous, but if abnormality
is present, the resulting waveform will be distorted. In the past, it was general practice to deter-
mine whether the waveform fit into given bounds, but this method was prone to misjudgment.
PATTERN RECOGNITION AND THE MT SYSTEM • 9
Expert operators are familiar with the locus of normal waveforms from long years of experience,
and a look at the waveform of a defective product is enough for such workers to conclude that some-
thing is amiss with the unit being examined.
With the MT System, the Unit Space is defined in terms of a group of waveforms determined to
be normal by an experienced operator, and the waveform of the object of inspection is judged as to
whether it is good enough to count as a member of the normal group.
In many cases, mechanical characteristics are also measured in a form reduced to response
curves or history curves. For example, in the manufacturing or pressure-fitting of crimp-style ter-
minals, pressure history curves can be used to evaluate the presence of any abnormality. A largely
regular curve will reflect a normally foreseen chain of events; if any abnormal event occurs at the
time of pressure-crimping, the curve will come out disfigured.
Figure 1.8 shows an example of a waveform reflecting the pressure-fitting of a terminal. Figure
(a) indicates a normal history curve, but (b) shows that the characteristic constriction in the curve
seen in normal cases is not clearly discernible, so a skilled operator would regard this case as
abnormal. Generally, methods based on the use of control limit lines such as those shown in Figure
1.9 have been used, but this approach cannot catch all of the abnormalities.
Using the MT System will make it possible, with a sensitivity that reflects the experience of
skilled operators, to effectively detect all the hidden abnormalities in normal curves.
Figure 1.8. Example of curve for terminal pressure-fitting.
(a) Normal history curve (b) Curve with abnormality
Stroke
No Constriction Constriction
Pressure
Figure 1.7. Example of a waveform
observed in an impulse test.
V
o
l
t
a
g
e
Time
10 • QUALITY RECOGNITION AND PREDICTION
Upper limit
Lower limit P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e
Stroke
Figure 1.9. Traditional inspection method.
Other examples include an anticipated upcoming application for abnormality detection in the
revolution attenuation (coast-down characteristics) of revolving equipment. In an aircraft engine
revolving system inspection application, as shown in Figure 1.10, the inspection for the presence/
absence of abnormalities is performed based on post-switched-off engine revolution attenuation
curves.
Coast-down time (min.)
Normal bearings
Abnormal
(a) Coast-down characteristics (b) Bearings temperature characteristics
with the engine off
Time
Seizing
R
e
v
o
l
u
t
i
o
n
B
e
a
r
i
n
g
s

t
e
m
p
e
r
a
t
u
r
e
Figure 1.10. Examples of engine characteristic curves.
In the event of the presence of an abnormality, a curve that is at a variance with the normal
curve pattern will be drawn. More specifically, one type of abnormality would be, as shown in (a),
the engine revolution coming to a stop earlier than would be normal, and another type of abnormal-
ity, as shown in (b), would be the bearings temperature curve showing a bump at one point. Control
limit lines alone do not suffice for the purposes of an absolute determination for these issues, and
inspection with enhanced accuracy using the MT System is expected to address the issues.
1.3.1.2 Application for Unusual Noise Determination
Inspection of unusual noises to this day is, in many cases, deferred to a human inspector’s auditory
function. Figure 1.11 shows a waveform representing a sound emitted by a rotating object. In it,
(a) shows the normal sound of rotation, and (b) an abnormal sound.
PATTERN RECOGNITION AND THE MT SYSTEM • 11
Figure 1.11. Waveforms of rotation sounds.
(a) Normal (b) Abnormal
There is no other effective means of judgment other than a person’s sense of hearing. Though
frequency analysis as Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) and wavelet approaches are used in most
cases, they ultimately require human inspectors. These inspectors make judgments based on the
visible data. Furthermore, it is difficult to catch a noise that occurs only occasionally because the
FFT principle is not suitable when dealing with infrequent occurrences. Use of the MT System,
however, makes it possible to detect with a high degree of sensitivity any partial disturbance in
the waveform.
1.3.1.3 Application to Appearance Inspection
Appearance inspection is one of the most important issues where automation is strongly desired.
Figure 1.12 shows the appearance of an automotive clutch disk. Visual inspection for defects
such as foreign substances attached to the surface is a widely used procedure at car manufactur-
ing factories today; however, as such defects are virtually of the same color as the background
material, automation of the procedure has historically been more than something of a challenge.
However, with the MT System, the automatic inspection of this procedure is becoming
possible.
Figure 1.12. Exterior appearance of a clutch disk.
Crime prevention in and around elevators, homes, etc., danger avoidance for moving automo-
biles, and other situations are expected to be increasingly effective with the combined use of image
data and the MT System.
12 • QUALITY RECOGNITION AND PREDICTION
1.3.1.4 Application to Spectral Characteristic Inspection
Figure 1.13 shows a spectrographic waveform for a fluorescent light source. The x-axis corresponds
to the wavelength, and the y-axis, to the energy. With the use of the MT System, mass-produced fluo-
rescent lights can be checked with a high degree of precision for spectrographic waveform normalcy.
Figure 1.13. Example of a spectral
wavelength.
Wavelength
E
n
e
r
g
y
The ingredients of petrochemical products and pharmaceutical products, sucrosity and other
properties of melons, and such can be expressed in spectrographic waveforms. The MT System has
found a new niche of applications in the arena of inspection techniques.
1.3.2 MONITORING OF PRODUCTION PROCESS AND EQUIPMENT
Judgment as to whether a production process is proceeding normally has up to now depended in many
cases on control charts (production management schedules), whereby control would be performed
based on comparison of given control limit lines. In contrast to this approach, with the MT System, one
instance of the “distance from the measured pattern in normal time” is acquired. Characteristic features
are extracted from the pattern of measured values that flow down the time series. The extracted features
are then compared with the normal features. Slight abnormalities, which have not been readable in the
past, can now be detected, as well as early signs of any coming abnormality. Furthermore, the MT Sys-
tem can be used to predict the characteristics of a new product on the basis of measured values from the
production process. Or, the conditions that define a stable production setup for a good-tasting soy sauce
can be taken as the normal state to serve as the basis for the manufacturing setting control, so that the
factory management can have prior knowledge of the characteristics of an upcoming product.
1.3.3 MEDICAL APPLICATIONS
The first instance of application of the MT System took place in the 1980s, when the system was used
in connection with a physical examination. Dr. Tatsuji Kanetaka, then Director of the Gastrointestinal
Medicine Department of Tokyo Teishin Hospital, undertook the project, working with Dr. Taguchi.
1
PATTERN RECOGNITION AND THE MT SYSTEM • 13
The work was designed with the belief in mind that dictated, “If you want to study disease, you
should start by collecting data on healthy people.” Dr. Kanetaka used Mahalanobis Distance for
this. Traditionally, the normal course of treatment would place emphasis on studying data about the
patient, but the team’s starting line lay in the defining of a homogeneous group of healthy people.
The upshot of this undertaking by Dr. Kanetaka was the strong suggestion of the possibility
of using Mahalanobis Distance to evaluate the therapeutic effect of the treatment administered to
his liver disease patient. Since 1994, a number of studies like this in the medical field have been
introduced.
1
Research has been pursued in studies dealing with the detection of abnormalities in
mammographic and medical images, as well. It is said that skillful doctors sharpen their abnormal-
ity detection sensibilities by viewing huge numbers of images of cancer-free, normal images. This
approach shares common insights with the MT System.
1.3.4 ECONOMIC WORTH ESTIMATION
The price of real estate is determined as a function of a number of factors. The factors are, for
example, distance from the nearest train station, area of land, geographic situation of the nearby
roads and accesses, surrounding landscape, etc. The price of a given property is estimated in terms
of a function of these factors. Historically, regression analysis has been used for these purposes, but
high-reliability predictions have been impossible in many cases because of the paucity of property
information needed for prediction. Use of the MT System, however, has opened the way for highly
accurate property price predictions even under conditions of restricted data availability.
High-reliability appraisal of the economic value of a given corporation, an operation that
requires a number of factors to be fed into the computation process, can also be performed with the
use of the MT System. Another application that is of interest to many people has to do with share
price fluctuations. However, the variables that determine share prices comprise untold complex ram-
ifications, which are themselves further complicated by speculative moves, so it is believed that it
will be some time before a well-designed, sensible prediction system becomes available in this field.
Also From Momentum Press
• Alarm Management for Process Control: A Best-Practice Guide for Design,
Implementation, and Use of Industrial Alarm Systems by Douglas H. Rothenberg
• Advanced Regulatory Control: Applications and Techniques by David W. Spittzer
• Process Control Case Histories: An Insightful and Humorous Perspective from the
Control Room by Gregory K. McMillan,
• Protecting Industrial Control Systems from Electronic Threats by Joseph Weiss
• Industrial Resource Utilization and Productivity: Understanding the Linkages,
Edited by Anil Mital, Ph.D., and Arun Pennathur, Ph.D.
• Raw and Finished Materials: A Concise Guide to Properties and Applications
by Brian Dureu
• Solids Level Measurement and Detection Handbook by Joe Lewis
• And The WBF Series On ISA 88 Implementation Experiences; ISA 95 Implementation
Experiences; ISA 88 and ISA 95 in the Life Science Industries; and Applying ISA 88 In
Discrete and Continuous Manufacturing
Would You Like To Become an MP Author? Please Contact Joel Stein,
joel@momentumpress.net
For more information, please visit www.momentumpress.net
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The Mahalanobis-Taguchi (MT) System is a new theory for pattern recognition and predic-
tion. It is based on different concepts and principles from the neural network, or regression
analysis, approaches—taking differences in patterns and the degrees of such differences
and then adequately quantifying them. Using the MT System in fields such as manufactur-
ing, medical treatment, and economics, it is now possible to acquire a broader and more
accurate range of information than previous methods were able to supply.
This new book builds on the success of the authors’ previous Japanese-language book,
An Introduction to the MT System, to meet the needs of a worldwide readership. For peo-
ple who have been heretofore overwhelmed by massive quantities of data, as well as
those who wish to study effective recognition and prediction methodology, this break-
through book offers:
ª A cohcise e×plahaIioh oI Ihe cohcepIs behihd Ihe MT SysIem ahd iIs various uses.
ª Ah ihIroducIioh Io Ihe hecessary compuIaIiohal meIhods Ior puIIihg Ihe MT
System into practice.
ª AbuhdahI case sIudies oh how Io mahage ahd use daIa wiIh Ihe MT SysIem ahd
e×IracI useIul ihIormaIioh cohclusiohs.
ª A clearer uhdersIahdihg oI Ihe advahIages ahd disadvahIages beIweeh IradiIiohal
ArIiIcial ÌhIelligehce sysIems ahd Ihe MT sysIem.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Dr. SHOICHI TESHIMA, ih 1997, submiIIed his Ihesis oh "Applyihg Mahalahobis Tagu-
chi (MT) System to Inspection Technology.” The following year, in 1998, he received an
award Ior iI Irom Ihe ASÌ (Americah Supplier ÌhsIiIuIe). Leavihg behihd his early career
as a mechahical ehgiheer Ior NEC, he Iouhded AhgleTry AssociaIes wiIh Ihe supporI oI
Dr. Genichi Taguchi. The company produces MT System software and offers consultation
services Io cliehIs. He is currehIly Ihe E×ecuIive DirecIor. Dr. YOSHIKO HASEGAWA
is the director of Hasegawa P.E. Office, Department Manager of the Quality Control and
ÌmplemehIaIioh Divisioh oI Furukawa ElecIric Co., LId., ahd a lecIurer aI Ihe College oI
Science and Technology, Nihon University. Having studied directly under Dr. Genichi
Taguchi since 1987, Hasegawa is one of the foremost advocates of MT System in Japan
and around the globe. KAZUO TATEBAYASHI is a Quality Engineering consultant and
guest lecturer at The Institute of Statistical Mathematics. He previously served as a man-
ager oI Ihe Techhology DevelopmehI DeparImehI aI Fuii Xero× Co., LId., as well as a lec-
turer at Meiji University and Tokyo Institute of Technology. Having studied directly under
Dr. Genichi Taguchi since 1976, Tatebayashi is one of the foremost advocates of Quality
Engineering in Japan.
QUALITY RECOGNITION AND PREDICTION
Smarter Pattern Technology with the Mahalanobis-Taguchi System
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