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Bayes estimation of component-reliability from masked system-life data

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3 Author(s)
Lin, D.K.J. ; Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA, USA ; Usher, J.S. ; Guess, F.M.

This paper estimates component reliability from masked series-system life data, viz, data where the exact component causing system failure might be unknown. It focuses on a Bayes approach which considers prior information on the component reliabilities. In most practical settings, prior engineering knowledge on component reliabilities is extensive. Engineers routinely use prior knowledge and judgment in a variety of ways. The Bayes methodology proposed here provides a formal, realistic means of incorporating such subjective knowledge into the estimation process. In the event that little prior knowledge is available, conservative or even noninformative priors, can be selected. The model is illustrated for a 2-component series system of exponential components. In particular it uses discrete-step priors because of their ease of development and interpretation. By taking advantage of the prior information, the Bayes point-estimates consistently perform well, i.e., are close to the MLE. While the approach is computationally intensive, the calculations can be easily computerized

Published in:

Reliability, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:45 ,  Issue: 2 )