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Two new stochastic models of the failure process of a series system

By Shaomin Wu and Philip Scarf


Consider a series system consisting of sockets into each of which a component is inserted: if a component fails, it is replaced with a new identical one immediately and system operation resumes. An interesting question is: how to model the failure process of the system as a whole when the lifetime distribution of each component is unknown? This paper attempts to answer this question by developing two new models, for the cases of a specified and an unspecified number of sockets, respectively. It introduces the concept of a virtual component, and in this sense, we suppose that the effect of repair corresponds to replacement of the most reliable component in the system. It then discusses the probabilistic properties of the models and methods for parameter estimation. Based on six datasets of artificially generated system failures and a real-world dataset, the paper compares the performance of the proposed models with four other commonly used models: the renewal process, the geometric process, Kijima's generalised renewal process, and the power law process. The results show that the proposed models outperform these comparators on the datasets, based on the Akaike information criterion

Topics: HA33
Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2017
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