Title: New methods to determine the importance measures of initiating and enabling events in fault tree analysis
Authors: CONTINI SergioMATUZAS VAIDAS
Citation: RELIABILITY ENGINEERING & SYSTEM SAFETY vol. 96 no. 7 p. 775-784
Publisher: ELSEVIER SCI LTD
Publication Year: 2011
JRC N°: JRC60665
ISSN: 0951-8320
URI: www.elsevier.com/locate/ress
http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC60665
DOI: 10.1016/j.ress.2011.02.001
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Components’ importance measures play a very important role in system reliability analysis. They are used to identify the weakest parts of the system for design improvement, failure diagnosis and maintenance. This paper deals with the problem of determining the importance measures of basic events in case of unreliability analysis of binary coherent and non-coherent fault trees. This type of analysis is typical of catastrophic top events, characterised by unacceptable consequences. Since the unreliability of systems with repairable components cannot be exactly calculated via fault tree, the Expected Number of Failures - which is obtained by integrating the unconditional failure frequency – is considered as it represents a good upper bound. In these cases it is important to classify events as initiators or enablers since their roles in the system are different, their sequence of occurrence is different and consequently they must be treated differently. New equations based on system failure frequency are described in this paper for determining the importance of initiating and enabling events. Simple examples are provided to clarify the application of the proposed calculation methods. Compared with the exact methods available in the literature, those proposed in this paper are easier to apply by hand and are simpler to implement in a fault tree analyser.
JRC Directorate:Space, Security and Migration

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