The effect of common cause failures in a system subject to competing risks

Hilario Gamez, University of Texas at El Paso


The different component failure modes that can cause a breakdown represent competing risks for a system consisting of several components in series when the system is restored to good as new condition upon failure. In the absence of a method to test for independence of competing risks from observable data, it is common practice to assume that failure modes are independent of each other to estimate the component failure distributions. Systems, however, may be affected by dependency. Omitting this condition from reliability testing may result in exaggerated or underestimated reliability. The main objective of this research is to evaluate the impact that dependent failures have on system reliability. Maintenance records of a manufacturing operation are analyzed, under the independence assumption, and then with possible sources of dependency. The two reliability calculations are then compared to evaluate the effect that common cause failures have on the reliability of the system.

Subject Area

Industrial engineering

Recommended Citation

Gamez, Hilario, "The effect of common cause failures in a system subject to competing risks" (2004). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1423719.