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R. V a v a s s o r i V.

A r q e l e r i

This paper presents SGIH, an EqeJA

-stem for functional test and fault
diagnosis of eleckroru'c devices.
In t h i s paper it w i l l be described haw M a k n s 16QAM and 64QAM are made of two
test benches based on the SGIH system sepaxate units: the moctulator and the
are used i n siemens T e l d c a z i o n i demodulator, both ccanposed of several
connected one another to fonn a -
i boaxk with mixed
testing line. m i
n g its activity SGIH analog and digital circuitry.
autmatically drives the cmplex set me functional test of such cmplex
of instruments that f o m the test devices gave raise to the need t o
bench. By ocpnparing the actual value the operators w i t h same
read on the u n i t under test and the
values stored i n the KmxJledge Base,
Zktic helping tools.
!the f i r s t approach i n this sense
SEIH detemhes the next action to be consisted of a test bench w i t h a
executed. personal ccinpter mnaging the
%e -ledge &se of sm is fully instruments and helping the operator
maintainable by the tester experts to carry cut the correct sequence of
w i t h o u t the help of the knwledge settings of the cmponents and check
engineers. measures prescribed by the testing
procecture. myway when a unit produced
an anmaly it w a s sent t o a tester
m who looked for the fault,
repaired the u n i t and sent it back t o
the test bench.
Expert Systems are the most diffuse W i t h sm a step forward has been
a w lications of Artificial made: in fact it has been possible to
Intelligence and the most knmn integrate in the bench both the
outside the circle of specialists. activities of test and diagnosis
Siemens !kleannunicazioni has been pmviding each operator w i t h a
trying for scane years to intrcduce -ledge base, or experience, which
Expert Systems i n several applicative helps him during the testing and
fields and i n particular in the diagnosing activities. By intrcducing
functional testing area. SEXH not only the test bench does lead
For such activity a prototyPe, called the operator during the test but it
IXlS, has been developed a t the also leads him during the diagnosis up
beginning, w i t h the aim of diagmsing to the firding of the faults and their
faults on line-boards which are elimination. only i n case that SEIH
specific u n i t s of a thelephone has not enough lawwledge t o solve the
exchange. Afterwoxls, considering the pmblem, the unit is sent to the
positive results frcan the use of m, tester e x p r t for the repair. When the

the activity carried on with the expert finds a m w type of fault he
developing of SFIH, an W. can update the knawledge base by
for the functional test and diagnosis a- new diagnostic paths which
of Modems 1 W and 64QAM, used i n beccane immdiately a camon
hi* speed 'ssions (140 M b i t / s ) inheritance for a l l the benches of the
of digital signals i n micmwave ra- test line.
dio-bridges . %us the percentage of units passing
thrmgh the hurnan experts' examination
is largely r e d u c e d and is getting
lower and lower as new types of faults tobeexecuted.
arelntmdwd in the knowl* bases.
lheadvantagesabtainedbytheuseof - the user Interface Module, which
SEM are: h a n d l e s w i t h t h e ~ t o t h e
q3emtOr, the g-raphics and the menus
- a signifid redwticm of the an the ImnitOr.
mms3er of units deviated frrrm the
rylrmdl flm of test to be passed to - the mta Manager Module which
the berm3l of the tester m. maMges-data-amnrgthe
test benches and between whole
- keepins of the kIKw-hw: the
exprierce stored up during the fault
testing line and the Infomtive
systan of the f h .
diagnosis isn’t lost and can be
particularly useful to repair the (x1the d t o r of the workstation, i n
units QllLing back fmm the field. different W i r d m S, SISIH displays all
the infoxnation ne&ed by the aperator
-use of rKm e x p d z persannel not only a t any time.
for the test but also for fault l b r e are three win%ws always active
diagnosis. on the mtmitor:
- flexibility when facirg the fast - the windaw SEIH w h i c h contains, in a
changes of the pmduction plan: with textual form, the instructions
SFIH it is in fact possible for regarding the aperations to be
untrained operators to test and accarplished;
diagnose any kina of unit, provided
the cOrreSpOudent krnwleage base has - the windcrw Montaggio (assenbly) w i t h
been hilt by the the tester experts. the assembly scheme of one of the
boards of the u n i t and on it the
- testing mta ~ a s e and report hiwight& c a p n e r h the operator
generation: a l l the data related to nust intervene on.
the test, to the faults and their
repairs are stored by SEM. - the w h x b w Figure in which technical
Afterwards these data can be used for dram iud schemes are displayed to
statisticdl analysis of the faults help the operator to understand the
trenl. Moreaver SFIH uses these data instructio3ls of sE!I€i.
Y- to w = = ~ * inpmved
diagnostic paths accordmg to the ’Ihere are three further wirdows w h i c h
fault rate of the electmm‘C are displayed when needed:
ccmpoarents in the circuits of the
boards. -thewindawInstnrmentsinwhichis
the display of the
mstrmmt and on it the tolerance
mask and the signal that the operator
nust f i t into the mask, for -le by
setting a trimer.
SEIHruns on UMX workstations and is
amposed by f a x modules (Figure 1): - the wirdcrw i n which the

b i l l s of mtermls of the boards in

- the Irrstruments Manager mdule which the unit a ~ provided;
drives the instnrments V i a IEE-488,
W-232 and ather standard -thewindcklGuastiusedbythe
interfaces. 'Ibis mDchile sets the aperator to intmkoe all the data
PnperlY and mads needed to store a report abcllrt a f a n d
values of the measures. fault and its repair.
- the actual
Test and Diagnosis Module, i.e.
E x y r t System which
A different kmwledge base is
associated to each kind of device. It
1- the -ic strategy. is in practice possible to build a new
Depenaing Q1 the results of the )mkJledge base for any kind of device
masares it decides the next actions tobetestedwithsE!”.

%e activity of building a new access to it in a transparent way to

knowledge base, or qdating an store in it, in z x a l time, the
existing one, i s carried out by the statistical data about the feud
tester experts without the help of the faults and the nunber of tested units.
knowledge engineers. ~norder to All the wpies of Si!IH running on the
maintain the knowledge bases the stations have also access to the
experts are pruvided with a lot of statistical Dab Base to imprmre the
tools and utilities: programs that diagnostic paths according to the
check the coxmdmess of the data fault rate of the electronic
inserted into the knowledge base; cclmponents. 'Ihe printer is a shared
p v that convert the files resource too: from every station it is
contallllng the assernbly schemes and in fact possible to print the reports
the bills of materials froan their abaut the statistical data. On the
original format into the sm format; Maste.r station the updating of the
prqrans that the description lamwledge base takes place: this nay
of correct signals f m a safe unit information is irmnediately duplicated
and autwatically store it in the in all the other stations thus making
knowledge base. Particularly the new knowledge available to all the
interesting is the - p that testing line.
gra~cally represent the diagnostic The Master station is also connected
paths in a binary tree form, i.e. in a to the central informative system to
way representing the external draw aut automatically the bills of
behaviour of SEI" when using, d u r i q materials and the assembly schemes and
its diagnostic activity, the to transfer the statistical data into
description of fault diagnosis the Data &se of the W i t y control.
knowledge base. We are n m developing
the interpreter Horns for a larquage , T l R J m OF "E KNNLEDX BASE
by which an expxt can describe the
test and diagnosis procedures us-
high level syntactic structures. HORUS 'Ihe SEIH J 3 p a - t System can be divided
parses the texts written by the into two parts: the former managing
checks the inconsistencies the test and the latter mnaging the
and procfuces the relative Knowledge diagnosis. 'Ihe test procdure is
Base in the internal format used by essentially a sequence of steps
SFIH. camposed of different operations of
setting and measures in order to fit
and verify the testing rquimwnts.
When a signal doesn't fit the
requirements a fault is generated and
the diagnostic activity starts.
After the first p.rototyping phase As for diagnosis, after a first
consisting in the d e v e l m t of the analysis of the problem the deep
system and of the )awwledge base for knowledge approach to it has been
the modulator 1- unit, SEIlI has discarded, E3rady et al ( 2 ) . The use of
been teste3 in field and it has been a description of the electric circuit,
released with all the knowledge bases even if splitted into a functional
for moctulator 1 W and 6 4 W . model and a physical one, Davis (3) ,
'Ihe test benches are n m five, settled Davis et a1 ( 4 ) , Atwood et al (l),
d m according to the archi- Hamher (7),didn't fit because of the
Shawn in Figure 2. The test benches, presence of m y euristic aspects to
which are forseen to reach the nmber be taken into account during the
of ten in short time, are connected diagncstic activity. Such aspects are
one another by a EX€mNET IAN w h i c h mainly pxatical: for -le, the
enables them to share SCBne resmxes, amplexity and the time consuming of a
first of all the statistical Data measure, the difficulty to reach a
Base. pint of measure in the circuit, the
m e Data Base is physically comeclzed presence of loops and intel-depmdent
to a wurkstation called msrm, but sett- and measures, the different
also all the other stations have difficulty to replace a &date

cclmpcplent i f soldered or munted on a sufficient to describe the signal: i n

base. salle ather pmblelns are atnercasesitisnaoessarytouse
technological: two narmw ami mar more specific values. One of the tasks
ccaarectians Carl be easily short- of the Irsstruments Manager rvlodule
circuited thus charqing the mid (Fig. 1) is exactly to convert the
circuit, ju;pnpers
again chrgmg the c1I"wt, a great
e misplaced numerical data read
bstrmzb into one of such qualita-
f m the

density of ccnponerrts can present tive values associated to the signal

defective solderings. Finally there and return it to the T e s t and Diagnase
are also statistid considerations: mdule.
some aqmmnts have mre probability A RP is ccmposed of a reference to a
to be faulty especially those c m that point of the *ice to intervene on, a
have not been ewhustively tested file containing the
during the previous phase of the =ions for the aperator abaut
In-circuit test. the repair and the fixed set of values
A l l these apiricdl cunsideratims in (OK, FAIIED). Given a GL, the expert
most cases carpletely overcopne the can specify a set of measures and
rigoraus evaluation of the -oc repairs to be performed in order to
of the signals and its propagation i n solve it and, a m r d i n g to the result
the circuit: in many cases the of measures and repairs, a set of
searrhing and firrding of a specific GL's. nJ0 different G L ' s
uncorrect signal is mre significant canleadtoasameGL: t h e s a m e G L c a n
than a sequence of correct signals!. lead to different GL'S acconling to
WE acperts' knowledge of the circuit the values retllrned by the measures
itself is extremdy qualitative but a t and the repairs.
the same time extremely efficent. %us ll-e external behaviour of SEIH can be
the efforts have concentrated to build represented by a b h a q tree: a
up a flexible system, easily measure can have two different results
maintainable by the tester experts, (the measuced signal is the expected
rpwerfUl-t-0 handle one or not) and two consequent
loop5 of measures ard actions; a repair can have two
able to take into a m t statistical different results too: either the
evaluations. 'Ihe adopted methodology fault has been renwed or it still
is based on the concept of LDcdLized persists and the diagncsis must go on.
Fault (GL) w h i c h is essentially a The G L ' s switch i s n ' t evident in this
wrong signal in a specific point of representation but the binary tree was
the circuit. A t the beginning of the c h m because it's very M a t e to
diagnosis the f i r s t GL coincides w i t h be understood and mnaged by the
the test measure which does not f i t *exPerts-
thetestrequirements and is called Anyway the diagnostic paths for a
the synptm. When kuilding a knowldge given fault, i.e. the GL's h i m y ,
b a s e t h e t e s t e r e x p r t c a n u s e a set can be represented by a generalized
of GL's, a set of Measmes (Ms) axi a tree whi& is run through w i t h a
set of Repairs (FP). A MS is ccarp?osed depth-first strategy.
of a reference to a point of the The ba
- ' wasalso implemented,
physi? circuit, a set of i.e. the ability for SEIH,given a
descriptions of the signal present i n solved GL which doesn't solve the
such point, a message file containing synptor?, to backtraa the tree
theinstructions for the operator to searchu7g for a multiple ncde ard
carry cut the measure ard a set of desaxd through the next unresolved
commands to the Instruments Manager branch. Hmever this feature is not
Mcdule. In rn the signals are always actually used by SEX" because the
described in a qualitative way: experts decided to make it t o restart
several qualitative values may the diagnosis tree fm the root or
correspond to a single signal. only even fm sane steps baclcward in the
one value describes the coLTect test sequence i f there are still sane
signal, the athers correspnd to unresolved GL's along the diagnastic
different kinds of non-correCtness of path. Referring to Figun? 3, i f the
thesignal.Inmanycasesthestandard solved GL6 doesn't solve the i n i t i a l
set of IXJ values (OK, FAIIED) is G U , sE?H d d backtrack to GL5 and

then descend thmugh GL7. The actual

diagnostic procedure instead restarts
by default fmpn a:
..- . ..
this second time
presumably GL6 won't be reached 1. A&nod,
because it has alreacty been solved, CAUSAL m m : "E NEXT GEDmwrION
thus the system will inrmediately try OF EXPERT SYSTEIG
the G7 branch. 1986 Ele. coPmn.Vol.60 No 2 180-184
SEI" pruvides each GL, described in the
knowledge base with a set of 2. -w,
probabilities linked to the different -REASoNINGIN-c
s y q t o n s that can lead to such GL. FAUL3 D W I S
When a GL solves the synpton, its 1988 A c t s X AAAI 443-445
associated probability is updated;
SEI" uses such pmbabilities to choose 3. Davis
a starting G L different frcw the DIZGJWITC REASONING BASED ON
-iynpton and, inside a particular GL, ~~ AND BEHAVIOUR
it is also able to select the nrost 1984 Artif.Intelligence 24 347-408
pmbable measure or repair to be
performed. 4. Davis, shmbe, -, Wieduxt,
*ley, €wit

1982 Ads I11 AAAI 137-142

ming this first year of use, s m 5.

has pruved to be a useful tool f o r the ?HE USE OF DESIGN DESCRIPTION I N
test and diagncsis of -lex NXUWTED D W I S
electronic devices with significant 1984 Artif.Intelligence 24 411-436
impacts on both the ccst and the
quality of the product. 6 . Genesereth
'Ihe knawlec?ge bases for three mre DIA(;NOSIS USING "IICAI,
devices have been quickly developed by DESIGN M3DELS
the tester experts themselves and all 1982 Acts I11 AAAI 278-283
the seven available )awwledge bases
are at present frequently q d a t d with 7 . €Jan&Er
new faults and used to repair old USING sTRucIuRAL AND FUNCTIONAL
units caning back frum the field. INFORMATION I N DIAQJOSTIC DESIGN
For this reason, wether with its 1983 Acts IV AAAI 152-156
high flexibility and ease of use, S E "
is planned to be extended also to the 8. F.,IeMt D., D.
testing of large systems such as mmING ExPFm SY.STEm
telephonic exharqes a d to the new 1983 Addison Wesley Readings Mass.
generation of 128 TCM nu3derns.
Further impravements for sm are also 9. &ben, m, StLrzk
forseen: we are naw trying to desume SpErIALZZED .smATEGIES: AN ALTERNA-
the diagnostic strategy directly from m m m PRINCIPLE I N
the description of a physical circuit DDGNCXTIC F€DBI.E3I SOLVING
drawn cut frum R&D CAD Data Bases. The 1988 V I 1 AAAI 364-368
resulting diagnosis procedure will be
very inefficient but it will be useful
for very new devices for t&ich there
is no testing experience at all. cur
efforts a r e concentrating on a method
for integrating this automatically
build up knawledge base with the
euristic knowledge of the tester



Figure 1: The SETH System

Figure 2: The t e s t i n g l i n e based on t h e SETH System

Figure 3: The GL's hierarchy