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The usual constrained reliability optimization problem is extended to include determining the optimal level of component reliability and the number of redundancies in each stage. With cost, weight, and volume constraints, the problem is one in which the component reliability is a variable, and the optimal trade-off between adding components and improving individual component reliability is determined. This is a mixed integer nonlinear programming problem in which the system reliability is to be maximized as a function of component reliability level and the number of components used at each stage. The model is illustrated with three general non linear constraints imposed on the system. The Hooke and Jeeves pattern search technique in combination with the heuristic approach by Aggarwal et al, is used to solve the problem. The Hooke and Jeeves pattern search technique is a sequential search routine for maximizing the system reliability, RS (R, X). The argument in the Hooke and Jeeves pattern search is the component reliability, R, which is varied according to exploratory moves and pattern moves until the maximum of RS (R, X) is obtained. The heuristic approach is applied to each value of the component reliability, R, to obtain the optimal number of redundancies, X, which maximizes RS (R, X) for the stated R.
Date of Publication: Aug. 1977