Methodology for the Assessment of Imprecise Multi-State System Availability

Joanna Akrouche, Mohamed Sallak, Eric Châtelet, Fahed-Olivier Abdallah, Hiba Hajj Chehade

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Most existing studies of a system’s availability in the presence of epistemic uncertainties assume that the system is binary. In this paper, a new methodology for the estimation of the availability of multi-state systems is developed, taking into consideration epistemic uncertainties. This paper formulates a combined approach, based on continuous Markov chains and interval contraction methods, to address the problem of computing the availability of multi-state systems with imprecise failure and repair rates. The interval constraint propagation method, which we refer to as the forward–backward propagation (FBP) contraction method, allows us to contract the probability intervals, keeping all the values that may be consistent with the set of constraints. This methodology is guaranteed, and several numerical examples of systems with complex architectures are studied.
Original languageEnglish
Article number150
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 2022


  • Availability
  • Contraction methods
  • Interval analysis
  • multi-state systems

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