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JCSS Workshop on Reliability Based Code Calibration OPTIMIZATION AND TARGET RELIABILITIES 1

By Rüdiger Rackwitz and Hermann Streicher


The engineering profession agrees that present design and quality assurance rules lead to sufficiently safe and economic structures although these rules have been developed widely by trial and error. If safety is quantified in probabilistic terms admissible risks are calibrated against present rules of practice. Unfortunately, large variations in admissible, calibrated risks are found and it is unclear whether the variations are the result of different risk acceptance attitudes or of economical considerations. Recently, two new concepts have lead to new insights into the problem of risk acceptance and optimality. Formulating design as a decision problem under uncertainty where cost, benefits and expected failure consequences are included converted well-known reliability analysis into reliability-oriented optimization. If all failure consequences including losses of human life and limb are suitably introduced an optimal structure is also an admissible structure. The recently proposed life quality index (LQI) enables to quantify what is necessary and what is affordable for a society to invest into risk reduction. The life quality index is a function of the gross domestic product, the life expectancy at birth and the fraction of time necessary to raise the gross national product by work. It is applicable for the investments by the public into health care, into road traffic safety, into fire protection systems and

Year: 2011
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