Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Bian, Linkan

Committee Member

Tolk, Andreas

Committee Member

Babski-Reeves, Kari

Committee Member

Strawderman, Lesley

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Industrial and Systems Engineering

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering


Bayesian networks have been applied to many different domains to perform prognostics, reduce risk and ultimately improve decision making. However, these methods have not been applied to military field and human performance data sets in an industrial environment. Methods frequently rely on a clear understanding of causal connections leading to an undesirable event and detailed understanding of the system behavior. Methods may also require large amount of analyst teams and domain experts, coupled with manual data cleansing and classification. The research performed utilized machine learning algorithms (such as Bayesian networks) and two existing data sets. The primary objective of the research was to develop a diagnostic and prognostic tool utilizing Bayesian networks that does not require the need for detailed causal understanding of the underlying system. The research yielded a predictive method with substantial benefits over reactive methods. The research indicated Bayesian networks can be trained and utilized to predict failure of several important components to include potential malfunction codes and downtime on a real-world Navy data set. The research also considered potential error within the training data set. The results provided credence to utilization of Bayesian networks in real field data – which will always contain error that is not easily quantified. Research should be replicated with additional field data sets from other aircraft. Future research should be conducted to solicit and incorporate domain expertise into subsequent models. Research should also consider incorporation of text based analytics for text fields, which was considered out of scope for this research project.