An interpretable machine learning based approach for process to areal surface metrology informatics

Olusayo Obajemu, Mahdi Mahfouf, Moschos Papananias*, Thomas E. McLeay, Visakan Kadirkamanathan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Surface metrology parameters represent an important class of design variables, which can be controlled because they represent the DNA or fingerprint of the whole manufacturing chain as well as form important predictors of the manufactured component's function(s). Existing approaches of analysing these parameters are applicable to only a small subset of the parameters and, as such, tend to provide a narrow characterisation of the manufacturing environment.This paper presents a new machine learning approach for modelling the surface metrology parameters of the manufactured components. Such a modelling approach can allow one to understand better and, as a result, control the manufacturing process so that the desired surface property can be achieved whilst manipulating the process conditions. The newly proposed approach utilises a fuzzy logic based-learning algorithm to map the extracted process features to the areal surface metrology parameters. It is fully transparent since it employs IF...THEN statements to describe the relationships between the input space (in-process monitoring variables) and the output space (areal surface metrology parameters). Furthermore, the algorithm includes a ridge penalty based mechanism that allows the learning to be accurate while avoiding over-fitting. This new machine-learning framework was tested on a real-life industrial case-study where it is required to predict the areal parameters of a manufacturing (machining) process from in-process data. Specifically, the case study involves a full factorial experimental design to manufacture seventeen (17) steel bearing housing parts which are fabricated from heat-treated EN24 steel bars. Validation results showed the ability of this new framework not only to predict accurately but also to generalise across different types of areal surface metrology parameters.

Original languageEnglish
Article number044001
Number of pages13
JournalSurface Topography: Metrology and Properties
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 4 Oct 2021


  • fuzzy logic
  • industry 4.0
  • manufacturing systems
  • surface metrology
  • UKRI
  • EP/P006930/1


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