Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Richard T. Redmond and Youngohc Yoon


Since the widespread use of computers in business and industry, a lot of research has been done on the design of computer systems to support the decision making task. Decision support systems support decision makers in solving unstructured decision problems by providing tools to help understand and analyze decision problems to help make better decisions. Artificial intelligence is concerned with creating computer systems that perform tasks that would require intelligence if performed by humans. Much research has focused on using artificial intelligence to develop decision support systems to provide intelligent decision support.

Knowledge discovery from databases, centers around data mining algorithms to discover novel and potentially useful information contained in the large volumes of data that is ubiquitous in contemporary business organizations. Data mining deals with large volumes of data and tries to develop multiple views that the decision maker can use to study this multi-dimensional data. On-line analytical processing (OLAP) provides a mechanism that supports multiple views of multi-dimensional data to facilitate efficient analysis. These two techniques together can provide a powerful mechanism for the analysis of large quantities of data to aid the task of making decisions.

This research develops a model for the real time process control of a large manufacturing process using an integrated approach of data mining and on-line analytical processing. Data mining is used to develop models of the process based on the large volumes of the process data. The purpose is to provide prediction and explanatory capability based on the models of the data and to allow for efficient generation of multiple views of the data so as to support analysis on multiple levels. Artificial neural networks provide a mechanism for predicting the behavior of nonlinear systems, while decision trees provide a mechanism for the explanation of states of systems given a set of inputs and outputs. OLAP is used to generate multidimensional views of the data and support analysis based on models developed by data mining. The architecture and implementation of the model for real-time process control based on the integration of data mining and OLAP is presented in detail. The model is validated by comparing results obtained from the integrated system, OLAP-only and expert opinion. The system is validated using actual process data and the results of this verification are presented. A discussion of the results of the validation of the integrated system and some limitations of this research with discussion on possible future research directions is provided.


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