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A separable method for incorporating imperfect fault-coverage into combinatorial models

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3 Author(s)
Amari, S.V. ; Indian Inst. of Technol., Bombay, India ; Bechta Dugan, J. ; Misra, R.B.

This paper presents a new method for incorporating imperfect FC (fault coverage) into a combinatorial model. Imperfect FC, the probability that a single malicious fault can thwart automatic recovery mechanisms, is important to accurate reliability assessment of fault-tolerant computer systems. Until recently, it was thought that the consideration of this probability necessitated a Markov model rather than the simpler (and usually faster) combinatorial model. SEA, the new approach, separates the modeling of FC failures into two terms that are multiplied to compute the system reliability. The first term, a simple product, represents the probability that no uncovered fault occurs. The second term comes from a combinatorial model which includes the covered faults that can lead to system failure. This second term can be computed from any common approach (e.g. fault tree, block diagram, digraph) which ignores the FC concept by slightly altering the component-failure probabilities. The result of this work is that reliability engineers can use their favorite software package (which ignores the FC concept) for computing reliability, and then adjust the input and output of that program slightly to produce a result which includes FC. This method applies to any system for which: the FC probabilities are constant and state-independent; the hazard rates are state-independent; and an FC failure leads to immediate system failure

Published in:

Reliability, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:48 ,  Issue: 3 )