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The Case Against the Use of Synthetic Control Charts

Summary: [This abstract is based on the authors' abstract.] The synthetic chart principle proposed by Wu and Spedding (2000) initiated a stream of publications in the control charting literature. Originally, it was claimed that the new chart has superior average run length (ARL) properties. Davis and Woodall (2002) indicated that the synthetic chart is nothing else than a particular runs-rule chart. Moreover, they criticized the design of the performance evaluation and advocated use of the steady-state ARL. The latter measure was used then, e.g., in Wu et al. (2010). In most of the papers on synthetic charts that actually used the steady-state framework, it was not rigorously described. See Khoo et al. (2011) as an exception, where it was revealed that the cyclical steady-state design was considered. The aim of this paper is to carefully analyze the steady-state (cyclical and the more popular conditional) for the synthetic chart, the original “2 of L + 1” (L ? 1) runs-rule chart, and competing EWMA charts with two types of control limits. It turns out that the EWMA chart has a uniformly (over a large range of potential shifts) better steady-state ARL performance than the synthetic chart. Furthermore, the synthetic control chart exhibits the poorest performance among all considered competitors. Thus, we advise not applying synthetic control charts.

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  • Topics: Software and Technology (for statistics, measurement, analysis)
  • Keywords: Control charts, Exponentially weighted moving average (EWMA), Steady state processes, Average run length (ARL), Run length, Run rules
  • Author: Knoth, Sven
  • Journal: Journal of Quality Technology