Predicting particle accelerator failures using binary classifiers

Miha Rescic, Rebecca Seviour, Willem Blokland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Particle accelerator failures lead to unscheduled downtime and lower reliability. Although simple to mitigate while they are actually happening such failures are difficult to predict or identify beforehand. In this work we propose using machine learning approaches to predict machine failures via beam current measurements before they actual occur. To demonstrate this technique in this paper we examine beam pulses from the Oakridge Spallation Neutron Source (SNS). By evaluating a pulse against a set of common classification techniques we show that accelerator failure can be identified prior to actually failing with almost 80% accuracy. We also show that tuning classifier parameters and using pulse properties for refining datasets can further lead to almost 92% accuracy in classification of bad pulses. Most importantly, in the paper we establish there is information about the failure encoded in the pulses prior to it, so we also present a list of feasible next steps for increasing pulse classification accuracy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number163240
Number of pages8
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Early online date16 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020


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