Journal Article

Improving reliability and reducing risk by using inequalities


The paper introduces a powerful domain-independent method for improving reliability and reducing risk based on algebraic inequalities, which transcends mechanical engineering and can be applied in many unrelated domains. The paper demonstrates the application of inequalities to reduce the risk of failure by producing tight uncertainty bounds for properties and risk-critical parameters. Numerous applications of the upper-bound-variance inequality have been demonstrated in bounding uncertainty from multiple sources, among which is the estimation of uncertainty in setting positioning distance and increasing the robustness of electronic devices. The rearrangement inequality has been used to maximise the reliability of components purchased from suppliers. With the help of the rearrangement inequality, a highly counter-intuitive result has been obtained. If no information about the component reliability characterising the individual suppliers is available, purchasing components from a single supplier or from the smallest possible number of suppliers maximises the probability of a high-reliability assembly. The Cauchy-Schwartz inequality has been applied for determining sharp bounds of mechanical properties and the Chebyshev's inequality for determining a lower bound for the reliability of an assembly. The inequality of the inversely correlated random events has been introduced and applied for ranking risky prospects involving units with unknown probabilities of survival.

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Todinov, Michael

Oxford Brookes departments

School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics


Year of publication: 2019
Date of RADAR deposit: 2019-10-14

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