Robustness of the EWMA control chart for individual observations
The traditional exponentially weighted moving average (EWMA) chart is one of the most popular control charts used in practice today. The in-control robustness is the key to the proper design and implementation of any control chart, lack of which can render its out-of-control shift detection capability almost meaningless. To this end, Borror et al.  studied the performance of the traditional EWMA chart for the mean for i.i.d. data. We use a more extensive simulation study to further investigate the in-control robustness (to non-normality) of the three different EWMA designs studied by Borror et al. . Our study includes a much wider collection of non-normal distributions including light- and heavy-tailed and symmetric and asymmetric bi-modal as well as the contaminated normal, which is particularly useful to study the effects of outliers. Also, we consider two separate cases: (i) when the process mean and standard deviation are both known and (ii) when they are both unknown and estimated from an in-control Phase I sample. In addition, unlike in the study done by Borror et al. , the average run-length (ARL) is not used as the sole performance measure in our study, we consider the standard deviation of the run-length (SDRL), the median run-length (MDRL), and the first and the third quartiles as well as the first and the 99th percentiles of the in-control run-length distribution for a better overall assessment of the traditional EWMA chart's in-control performance. Our findings sound a cautionary note to the (over) use of the EWMA chart in practice, at least with some types of non-normal data. A summary and recommendations are provided.
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Volume (Year): 38 (2011)
Issue (Month): 10 ()
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