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Reliability optimization of series-parallel systems using a genetic algorithm

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2 Author(s)
Coit, D.W. ; Rutgers Univ., Piscataway, NJ, USA ; Smith, A.E.

A problem-specific genetic algorithm (GA) is developed and demonstrated to analyze series-parallel systems and to determine the optimal design configuration when there are multiple component choices available for each of several k-out-of-n:G subsystems. The problem is to select components and redundancy-levels to optimize some objective function, given system-level constraints on reliability, cost, and/or weight. Previous formulations of the problem have implicit restrictions concerning the type of redundancy allowed, the number of available component choices, and whether mixing of components is allowed. GA is a robust evolutionary optimization search technique with very few restrictions concerning the type or size of the design problem. The solution approach was to solve the dual of a nonlinear optimization problem by using a dynamic penalty function. GA performs very well on two types of problems: (1) redundancy allocation originally proposed by Fyffe, Hines, Lee, and (2) randomly generated problem with more complex k-out-of-n:G configurations.

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