Receive a weekly summary and discussion of the top papers of the week by leading researchers in the field.

In Annals of operations research

Pandemic events, particularly the current Covid-19 disease, compel organisations to re-formulate their day-to-day operations for achieving various business goals such as cost reduction. Unfortunately, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) making up more than 95% of all businesses is the hardest hit sector. This has urged SMEs to rethink their operations to survive through pandemic events. One key area is the use of new technologies pertaining to digital transformation for optimizing pandemic preparedness and minimizing business disruptions. This is especially true from the perspective of digitizing asset management methodologies in the era of Industry 4.0 under pandemic environments. Incidentally, human-centric approaches have become increasingly important in predictive maintenance through the exploitation of digital tools, especially when the workforce is increasingly interacting with new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet-of-Things devices for condition monitoring in equipment maintenance services. In this research, we propose an AI-based human-centric decision support framework for predictive maintenance in asset management, which can facilitate prompt and informed decision-making under pandemic environments. For predictive maintenance of complex systems, an enhanced trust-based ensemble model is introduced to undertake imbalanced data issues. A human-in-the-loop mechanism is incorporated to exploit the tacit knowledge elucidated from subject matter experts for providing decision support. Evaluations with both benchmark and real-world databases demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed framework for addressing imbalanced data issues in predictive maintenance tasks. In the real-world case study, an accuracy rate of 82% is achieved, which indicates the potential of the proposed framework in assisting business sustainability pertaining to asset predictive maintenance under pandemic environments.

Chen Jacky, Lim Chee Peng, Tan Kim Hua, Govindan Kannan, Kumar Ajay


Artificial Intelligence, Asset management, Decision support, Pandemic preparedness, Predictive maintenance, Small and medium enterprises