DOI: 10.3390/s23167182 ISSN:

Robust Interval Prediction of Intermittent Demand for Spare Parts Based on Tensor Optimization

Kairong Hong, Yingying Ren, Fengyuan Li, Wentao Mao, Xiang Gao
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Instrumentation
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Analytical Chemistry

Demand for spare parts, which is triggered by element failure, project schedule and reliability demand, etc., is a kind of sensing data to the aftermarket service of large manufacturing enterprises. Prediction of the demand for spare parts plays a crucial role in inventory management and lifecycle quality management for the aftermarket service of large-scale manufacturing enterprises. In real-life applications, however, demand for spare parts occurs randomly and fluctuates greatly, and the demand sequence shows obvious intermittent distribution characteristics. Additionally, due to factors such as reporting mistakes made by personnel or environmental changes, the actual data of the demand for spare parts are prone to abnormal variations. It is thus hard to capture the evolutional pattern of the demand for spare parts by traditional time series forecasting methods. The reliability of prediction results is also reduced. To address these concerns, this paper proposes a tensor optimization-based robust interval prediction method of intermittent time series for the aftersales demand for spare parts. First, using the advantages of tensor decomposition to effectively mine intrinsic information from raw data, a sequence-smoothing network based on tensor decomposition and a stacked autoencoder is proposed. Tucker decomposition is applied to the hidden features of the encoder, and the obtained core tensor is reconstructed through the decoder, thus allowing us to smooth outliers in the original demand sequence. An alternating optimization algorithm is further designed to find the optimal sequence feature representation and tensor decomposition factors for the extraction of the evolutionary trend of the intermittent series. Second, an adaptive interval prediction algorithm with a dynamic update mechanism is designed to obtain point prediction values and prediction intervals for the demand sequence, thereby improving the reliability of the forecast. The proposed method is validated using the actual aftersales data from a large engineering manufacturing enterprise in China. The experimental results demonstrate that, compared with typical time series prediction methods, the proposed method can effectively grab the evolutionary trend of various intermittent series and improve the accuracy of predictions made with small-sample intermittent series. Moreover, the proposed method provides a reliable elastic prediction interval when distortion occurs in the prediction results, offering a new solution for intelligent planning decisions related to spare parts in practical maintenance.

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