Journal Article

On two fundamental approaches for reliability improvement and risk reduction by using algebraic inequalities


The paper introduces two fundamental approaches for reliability improvement and risk reduction by using nontrivial algebraic inequalities: (a) by proving an inequality derived or conjectured from a real system or process and (b) by creating meaningful interpretation of an existing nontrivial abstract inequality relevant to a real system or process. A formidable advantage of the algebraic inequalities can be found in their capacity to produce tight bounds related to reliability-critical design parameters in the absence of any knowledge about the variation of the controlling variables. The effectiveness of the first approach has been demonstrated by examples related to decision-making under deep uncertainty and examples related to ranking systems built on components whose reliabilities are unknown. To demonstrate the second approach, meaningful interpretation has been created for an inequality that is a special case of the Cauchy-Schwarz inequality. By varying the interpretation of the variables, the same inequality holds for elastic elements, resistors, and capacitors arranged in series and parallel. The paper also shows that meaningful interpretation of superadditive and subadditive inequalities can be used with success for optimizing various systems and processes. Meaningful interpretation of superadditive and subadditive inequalities has been used for maximizing the stored elastic strain energy at a specified total displacement and for optimizing the profit from an investment. Finally, meaningful interpretation of an algebraic inequality has been used for reducing uncertainty and the risk of incorrect prediction about the magnitude ranking of sequential random events.

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Todinov, Michael

Oxford Brookes departments

School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics


Year of publication: 2020
Date of RADAR deposit: 2021-06-15

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