The U.S. Patent office has issued a patent for Automated Determination of Root Cause to Metso Automation USA, Inc. The patent was developed by Metso's ExperTune team, and is used in their PlantTriage Control Loop Monitoring software.
The new automated method determines the most likely root cause using a "big data" technique. First, it gathers real-time data from hundreds or thousands of controllers. Then, it looks at correlations between controllers, and especially at the effect of time-shifting on correlations. Since root causes come usually appear as the first in a series of similar events, the software is able to identify the most likely root cause from this combination of correlation and time shift.