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In the paper the Soft Sensor design strategy for an industrial process, via neural NMA model, is described. In details, the hydrogen sulphide (H2S percentage) in the tail stream of a Sulfur Recovery Unit (SRU) of a refinery located in Sicily, Italy, is estimated by a Soft Sensor, that was designed to replace the online analyzer during maintenance operations. A general design strategy, based on the automatic selection of regressors of a NMA model is proposed. It is based on the minimization of the Lipschitz numbers by a Genetic Algorithms (GA) approach. A comparative analysis with an empirical model, developed on the basis of suggestions given by plant experts, is included to show the validity of the proposed procedure.
Date of Conference: 3-5 Oct. 2007