Dynamic data-driven prediction of lean blowout in a swirl-stabilized combustor

Soumalya Sarkar, Asok Ray, Achintya Mukhopadhyay, Swarnendu Sen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


This paper addresses dynamic data-driven prediction of lean blowout (LBO) phenomena in confined combustion processes, which are prevalent in many physical applications (e.g., landbased and aircraft gas-turbine engines). The underlying concept is built upon pattern classification and is validated for LBO prediction with time series of chemiluminescence sensor data from a laboratory-scale swirl-stabilized dump combustor. The proposed method of LBO prediction makes use of the theory of symbolic dynamics, where (finite-length) time series data are partitioned to produce symbol strings that, in turn, generate a special class of probabilistic finite state automata (PFSA). These PFSA, called D-Markov machines, have a deterministic algebraic structure and their states are represented by symbol blocks of length D or less, where D is a positive integer. The D-Markov machines are constructed in two steps: (i) state splitting, i.e., the states are split based on their information contents, and (ii) state merging, i.e., two or more states (of possibly different lengths) are merged together to form a new state without any significant loss of the embedded information. The modeling complexity (e.g., number of states) of a D-Markov machine model is observed to be drastically reduced as the combustor approaches LBO. An anomaly measure, based on Kullback-Leibler divergence, is constructed to predict the proximity of LBO. The problem of LBO prediction is posed in a pattern classification setting and the underlying algorithms have been tested on experimental data at different extents of fuel-air premixing and fuel/air ratio. It is shown that, over a wide range of fuel-air premixing, D-Markov machines with D > 1 perform better as predictors of LBO than those with D = 1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-242
Number of pages34
JournalInternational Journal of Spray and Combustion Dynamics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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