A generic method for estimating system reliability using Bayesian networks

DOĞUÇ Ö., Ramirez-Marquez J. E.

Reliability Engineering and System Safety, vol.94, no.2, pp.542-550, 2009 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 94 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.ress.2008.06.009
  • Journal Name: Reliability Engineering and System Safety
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.542-550
  • Keywords: System reliability, Reliability methods, Reliability analysis, Reliability modeling
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: No


This study presents a holistic method for constructing a Bayesian network (BN) model for estimating system reliability. BN is a probabilistic approach that is used to model and predict the behavior of a system based on observed stochastic events. The BN model is a directed acyclic graph (DAG) where the nodes represent system components and arcs represent relationships among them. Although recent studies on using BN for estimating system reliability have been proposed, they are based on the assumption that a pre-built BN has been designed to represent the system. In these studies, the task of building the BN is typically left to a group of specialists who are BN and domain experts. The BN experts should learn about the domain before building the BN, which is generally very time consuming and may lead to incorrect deductions. As there are no existing studies to eliminate the need for a human expert in the process of system reliability estimation, this paper introduces a method that uses historical data about the system to be modeled as a BN and provides efficient techniques for automated construction of the BN model, and hence estimation of the system reliability. In this respect K2, a data mining algorithm, is used for finding associations between system components, and thus building the BN model. This algorithm uses a heuristic to provide efficient and accurate results while searching for associations. Moreover, no human intervention is necessary during the process of BN construction and reliability estimation. The paper provides a step-by-step illustration of the method and evaluation of the approach with literature case examples. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.