Uncertainty management in multidisciplinary design of critical safety systems

Edoardo Patelli, Diego A. Alvarez, Matteo Broggi, Marco de Angelis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Managing the uncertainty in multidisciplinary design of safety-critical systems requires not only the availability of a single approach or methodology to deal with uncertainty but a set of different strategies and scalable computational tools (that is, by making use of the computational power of a cluster and grid computing). The availability of multiple tools and approaches for dealing with uncertainties allows cross validation of the results and increases the confidence in the performed analysis. This paper presents a unified theory and an integrated and open general-purpose computational framework to deal with scarce data, and aleatory and epistemic uncertainties. It allows solving of the different tasks necessary to manage the uncertainty, such as uncertainty characterization, sensitivity analysis, uncertainty quantification, and robust design. The proposed computational framework is generally applicable to solve different problems in different fields and be numerically efficient and scalable, allowing for a significant reduction of the computational time required for uncertainty management and robust design. The applicability of the proposed approach is demonstrated by solving a multidisciplinary design of a critical system proposed by NASA Langley Research Center in the multidisciplinary uncertainty quantification challenge problem.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-169
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Aerospace Information Systems
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2015


  • uncertainty management
  • critical safety systems
  • multidisciplinary design
  • computational tools


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