Multivariate exponentially weighted moving covariance matrix

Douglas M. Hawkins, Edgard M. Maboudou-Tchao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Multivariate exponentially weighted moving average (MEWMA) charts are among the best control charts for detecting small changes in any direction. The well-known MEWMA is directed at changes in the mean vector. But changes can occur in either the location or the variability of the correlated multivariate quality characteristics, calling for parallel methodologies for detecting changes in the covariance matrix. This article discusses an exponentially weighted moving covariance matrix for monitoring the stability of the covariance matrix of a process. Used together with the location MEWMA, this chart provides a way to satisfy Shewhart's dictum that proper process control monitor both mean and variability. We show that the chart is competitive, generally outperforming current control charts for the covariance matrix.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-166
Number of pages12
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Science Foundation grant DMS 0306304. The authors are grateful to the editors and referee for a number of helpful suggestions.


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  • Average run length bias
  • Regression adjustment

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