Imprecise system reliability and component importance based on survival signature

Geng Feng, Edoardo Patelli, Michael Beer, Frank PA Coolen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


The concept of the survival signature has recently attracted increasing attention for performing reliability analysis on systems with multiple types of components. It opens a new pathway for a structured approach with high computational efficiency based on a complete probabilistic description of the system. In practical applications, however, some of the parameters of the system might not be defined completely due to limited data, which implies the need to take imprecisions of component specifications into account. This paper presents a methodology to include explicitly the imprecision, which leads to upper and lower bounds of the survival function of the system. In addition, the approach introduces novel and efficient component importance measures. By implementing relative importance index of each component without or with imprecision, the most critical component in the system can be identified depending on the service time of the system. Simulation method based on survival signature is introduced to deal with imprecision within components, which is precise and efficient. Numerical example is presented to show the applicability of the approach for systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-125
Number of pages10
JournalReliability Engineering and System Safety
Early online date6 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2016


  • imprecision
  • survival signature
  • system reliability
  • component importance
  • sensitivity analysis


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