Variable sampling in multiparameter Shewhart charts

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

This dissertation deals with the use of Shewhart control charts, modified to have variable sampling intervals, to simultaneously monitor a set of parameters. Fixed sampling interval control charts are modified to utilize sampling intervals that vary depending on what is being observed from the data. Two problems are emphasized, namely, the simultaneous monitoring of the mean and the variance and the simultaneous monitoring of several means. For each problem, two basic strategies are investigated. One strategy uses separate control charts for each parameter. A second strategy uses a single statistic which combines the information in the entire sample and is sensitive to shifts in any of the parameters. Several variations on these two basic strategies are studied. Numerical studies investigate the optimal number of sampling intervals and the length of the sampling intervals to be used. Each procedure is compared to corresponding fixed interval procedures in terms of time and the number of samples taken to signal. The effect of correlation on multiple means charts is studied through simulation. For both problems, it is seen that the variable sampling interval approach is substantially more efficient than fixed interval procedures, no matter which strategy is used.