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Information fusion methods based on physical laws

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3 Author(s)
Rao, N.S.V. ; Center for Eng. Sci. Adv. Res., Oak Ridge Nat. Lab., TN, USA ; Reister, D.B. ; Barhen, J.

We consider systems whose parameters satisfy certain easily computable physical laws. Each parameter is directly measured by a number of sensors, or estimated using measurements, or both. The measurement process may introduce both systematic and random errors which may then propagate into the estimates. Furthermore, the actual parameter values are not known since every parameter is measured or estimated, which makes the existing sample-based fusion methods inapplicable. We propose a fusion method for combining the measurements and estimators based on the least violation of physical laws that relate the parameters. Under fairly general smoothness and nonsmoothness conditions on the physical laws, we show the asymptotic convergence of our method and also derive distribution-free performance bounds based on finite samples. For suitable choices of the fuser classes, we show that for each parameter, the fused estimate is probabilistically at least as good as its best measurement as well as best estimate. We illustrate the effectiveness of this method for a practical problem of fusing well-log data in methane hydrate exploration.

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Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:27 ,  Issue: 1 )