Although Principal Component Analysis (PCA) is an important tool in standard multivariate data analysis, little interest has been devoted to assessing whether the underlying relationship within a given variable set can be described by a linear PCA model or whether nonlinear PCA must be utilized. This paper addresses this defficiency by introducing a nonlinearity measure for principal component models. The measure is based on the following two principles: (i) the range of recorded process operation is divided into smaller regions and (ii) accuracy bounds are determined for the sum of the discarded eigenvalues. If this sum is within the accuracy bounds for each region, the process is assumed to be linear and vice versa. This procedure is automated through the use of cross-validation. Finally, the paper shows the utility of the new nonlinearity measure using two simulation studies and with data from an industrial melter process.
Computers and Chemical Engineering 29, No. 11-12, pp. 2355-2362 (2005)