Journal Article

Mechanisms for improving reliability and reducing risk by stochastic and deterministic separation


The paper provides for the first time a comprehensive introduction into the mechanisms through which the method of separation achieves risk reduction and into the ways it can be implemented in engineering designs. The concept stochastic separation of critical random events on a time interval, which consists of guaranteeing with a specified probability a specified degree of distancing between the random events, is introduced. Efficient methods for providing stochastic separation by reducing the duration times of overlapping critical random events on a time interval are presented. The paper shows that the probability of overlapping of critical events, randomly appearing on a time interval, is practically insensitive to the distribution of their duration times and to the variance of the duration times as long as the mean of the duration times remains the same. A rigorous proof is presented that this statement is valid even for two random events on a time interval. The paper also provides insight into various mechanisms through which deterministic separation improves reliability and reduces risk. It is demonstrated that the separation on properties is an efficient technique for compensating the drawbacks associated with homogeneous properties. It is demonstrated that improving reliability by including redundancy, improving reliability by segmentation and some of the deliberate weak link techniques and stress limiters techniques for reducing risk are effectively special cases of a deterministic separation. Finally, the paper demonstrates that in a number of cases, the way to extract benefit from the method of separation is to build and analyse a mathematical model based on the method of separation. A comprehensive classification of the discussed methods for stochastic and deterministic separation is also presented.

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Todinov, Michael

Oxford Brookes departments

Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment\School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics


Year of publication: 2017
Date of RADAR deposit: 2018-04-20

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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