Fault diagnosis in spur gears based on genetic algorithm and random forest

Mariela Cerrada, Grover Zurita, Diego Cabrera, René Vinicio Sánchez, Mariano Artés, Chuan Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

261 Scopus citations


There are growing demands for condition-based monitoring of gearboxes, and therefore new methods to improve the reliability, effectiveness, accuracy of the gear fault detection ought to be evaluated. Feature selection is still an important aspect in machine learning-based diagnosis in order to reach good performance of the diagnostic models. On the other hand, random forest classifiers are suitable models in industrial environments where large data-samples are not usually available for training such diagnostic models. The main aim of this research is to build up a robust system for the multi-class fault diagnosis in spur gears, by selecting the best set of condition parameters on time, frequency and time-frequency domains, which are extracted from vibration signals. The diagnostic system is performed by using genetic algorithms and a classifier based on random forest, in a supervised environment. The original set of condition parameters is reduced around 66% regarding the initial size by using genetic algorithms, and still get an acceptable classification precision over 97%. The approach is tested on real vibration signals by considering several fault classes, one of them being an incipient fault, under different running conditions of load and velocity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-103
Number of pages17
JournalMechanical Systems and Signal Processing
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors want to express a deep gratitude to The Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation (SENESCYT) of the Republic of Ecuador and the Prometeo Project, the GIDTEC research group of the Universidad Politécnica Salesiana in Cuenca-Ecuador, and the Vibrational research group of the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia in Madrid-Spain, for supporting the accomplishment of this research. The authors also want to express their thanks to the reviewers, the valuable comments and suggestions are very much appreciated.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Fault diagnosis
  • Feature selection
  • Gearbox
  • Genetic algorithms
  • Random forest
  • Wavelet packets


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