Fault Tree Analysis by List-Processing Techniques

  • M. Astolfi
  • S. Contini
  • C. L. Van den Muyzenberg
  • G. Volta


The paper outlines an approach for AND-OR-NOT fault-tree analysis which uses simultaneously logical or qualitative and numerical or quantitative information structured in the tree. The analysis is carried out in two steps: search of the most important minimal cut-sets (MCS), computation of the availability and reliability for the cut-sets and for top events. The paper describes in detail the algorithms applied in the first phase: for the simplification of the tree, for the use of the cut-off, for the evaluation of the error introduced by the cut-off, for the search of the cut-sets in order of importance taking into account quantitative (probability) and qualitative (dependencies between events or gates) information, for the optimization of the process of analysis in order to reduce the number of cut-sets to be minimized, for the analysis of the NOT operators. These algorithms are based on the use of list processing techniques for the direct manipulation of graphs. The algorithms have been implemented in computer codes SALP-3 and SALP-4 for which examples of application are given.


Primary Event Boolean Function Repeated Event Minimization Procedure Disjunctive Normal Form 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. [1]
    M. Astolfi, S. Contini, G. Volta, “Analysi di alberi logici AND/OR mediante tecniche non numeriche: Il codice SALP”, Report EUR 5641, 1975.Google Scholar
  2. [2]
    M. Astolfi, S. Contini, C.L. Van den Muyzenberg, G. Volta, “SALP-3 (Sensitivity Analysis by List Processing), A computer program for fault-tree analysis, description and how-to-use”, Report EUR 6183 EN, 1978.Google Scholar
  3. [3]
    S. Contini, S. Garribba, G. Volta, “Prior built-in sensitivity analysis for fault-trees with special concern for reliability calculation in nuclear power plant”, CESNEF/IAEA02, Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy, 1979.Google Scholar
  4. [4]
    S. Contini, “Descrizione di un algoritmo per la determinazione di una forma disgiuntiva normale irriducibile”, Technical Note Nr. 55, April 1979, J.R.C. Ispra Establishment, Italy.Google Scholar
  5. [5]
    M. Astolfi and al., “SALP-4, A computer code for fault-tree analysis”, to be published as EUR report.Google Scholar
  6. [6]
    E. Mendelson, “Theory and problems of boolean algebra and switching limits”, McGraw Hill, 1970.Google Scholar
  7. [7]
    B.L. Hulme, R.B. Warrell, “A prime implicant algorithm with factoning”, IEEE Trans, on Computers, November 1975.Google Scholar
  8. [8]
    L. Caldarola, “Fault-tree analysis with multistate components”, Probabilistic Analysis of nuclear reactor safety, Topical Meeting, May 8–10, 1978, Los Angeles, California.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Astolfi
    • 1
  • S. Contini
    • 2
  • C. L. Van den Muyzenberg
    • 1
  • G. Volta
    • 1
  1. 1.Commission of the European CommunitiesJoint Research CentreIspra (Va)Italy
  2. 2.Sigen S.p.ACorsico, MilanoItaly

Personalised recommendations