Vibration data from rotating machinery working in different conditions display different properties in spatial and temporal scales. As a result, insights into spatial- and temporal-scale structures of vibration data of rotating machinery are fundamental for describing running conditions of rotating machinery. However, common temporal statistics and typical nonlinear measures have difficulties in describing spatial and temporal scales of data. Recently, statistical linguistic analysis (SLA) has been pioneered in analyzing complex vibration data from rotating machinery. Nonetheless, SLA can examine data in spatial scales but not in temporal scales. To improve SLA, this paper develops symbolic-dynamics entropy for quantifying word-frequency series obtained by SLA. By introducing multiscale analysis to SLA, this paper proposes adaptive multiscale symbolic-dynamics entropy (AMSDE). By AMSDE, spatial and temporal properties of data can be characterized by a set of symbolic-dynamics entropy, each of which corresponds to a specific temporal scale. Afterward, AMSDE is employed to deal with vibration data from defective gears and rolling bearings. Moreover, the performance of AMSDE is benchmarked against five common temporal statistics (mean, standard deviation, root mean square, skewness and kurtosis) and three typical nonlinear measures (approximate entropy, sample entropy and permutation entropy). The results suggest that AMSDE performs better than these benchmark methods in characterizing running conditions of rotating machinery.
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