Abstract Representations of Causal Structures in Process Plants Based on Action and Role Concepts


Johannes Petersen

Ostered • DTU, Automation, Building 326, Technical University of Denmark, DK-2800 Kongens Lyngby E-Mail: jop@oersted.dtu.dk


Abstract: This paper deals with representations supporting causal reasoning for the overall assessment of disturbances of complex process plants. The starting point is Multilevel Flow Modeling (MFM) which provides a suitable conceptualization of events that are significant with respect to the intended mass and energy flow paths of the plant. The problem, however, is that MFM does not provide an adequate account of the causal structure of the target system. Knowledge of the causal structure is required in order to perform proper causal reasoning about a system. In this paper I describe novel extensions of the semantics of MFM, which enable an abstract representation of the causal structure of the target system. By means of examples it is illustrated how these extensions make it possible to use MFM as a basis for plant-wide causal reasoning in disturbance management of complex process plants.