Long-Term RNN: Predicting Hazard Function for Proactive Maintenance of Water Mains

Bin Liang, Zhidong Li, Yang Wang, Fang Chen

ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management

Failure event prediction is becoming increasingly important in wide applications, such as the planning of proactive maintenance, the active investment management, and disease surveillance. To address the issue, the hazard function in survival analysis has been employed to describe the pattern of failures. Different from traditional survival analysis, this paper discovers how to apply recurrent neural network (RNN) to the long-term hazard function prediction. The proposed Long-Term RNN (LT-RNN) is able to leverage the precedent information shared by other entities, leading to more reliable long-term predictions. Specifically, our method allows a black-box treatment for modelling the hazard function which is often a pre-defined parametric form in typical survival analysis. The key idea of our approach is to model the hazard function as a nonparameteric function of the history. The same precedent information from other entities is embedded to a stitched vector for LT-RNN to automatically learn a representation of the long-term hazard function. We apply our model to the proactive maintenance problem using a large dataset from a water utility in Australia.

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