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Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization

, Volume 52, Issue 2, pp 251–268 | Cite as

The effect of ignoring dependence between failure modes on evaluating system reliability

  • Chanyoung Park
  • Nam H. KimEmail author
  • Raphael T. Haftka
RESEARCH PAPER

Abstract

Assuming independence between failure modes makes system reliability calculation simple but it adds approximation error. Interestingly, error due to ignoring dependence can be negligible for a highly reliable system. This paper investigates the reasons and the factors affecting the error. Error in system probability of failure (PF) is small for high reliability when tail-dependence is not very strong or the ratio between individual PFs is large. We created various conditions using copulas and observed the effect of ignoring dependence. Two reliability-based design optimization problems with a 2-bar and a 10-bar trusses are presented to show the effect of error on the optimum design and the system PF calculation. For the 10-bar truss, there were 5 % error in system PF and mass penalty less than 0.1 % in the optimum design for a target system PF of 10−7 even though five truss failures were strongly correlated.

Keywords

Multiple failure modes Tail-dependence System reliability Dependence Correlation Reliability-based design optimization 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the National Science Foundation, under the grant CMMI-0856431 by the U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration, Advanced Simulation and Computing Program, as a Cooperative Agreement under the Predictive Science Academic Alliance Program, under Contract No. DE-NA0002378.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chanyoung Park
    • 1
  • Nam H. Kim
    • 1
    Email author
  • Raphael T. Haftka
    • 1
  1. 1.University of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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