Reliability modelling of infrastructure load-sharing systems with workload adjustment

Sun, Qiuzhuang and Ye, Zhi-Sheng and Revie, Matthew and Walls, Lesley (2019) Reliability modelling of infrastructure load-sharing systems with workload adjustment. IEEE Transactions on Reliability, 68 (4). pp. 1283-1295. ISSN 0018-9529 (

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Motivated by the need to support effective asset management of infrastructure systems, this paper presents a novel reliability model for a load-sharing system where the operator can adjust component work load to balance system degradation. The operator intervention effect, combined with other system complexities, makes modeling reliability interesting and challenging. We first develop cost modeling for a load-sharing system that has experienced operational service at the time of analysis. The system replacement process is modeled as a delayed renewal process for which the expected operational cost of the system is derived. A numerical algorithm is proposed to compute the cost, and the error bound is shown to be of order O(n−1). Next, we extend modeling to consider multiple heterogeneous systems located at different sites within the infrastructure network. Heterogeneities here refer to possible cross-site differences in the operating environments and the operators’ actions. When the heterogeneities are observable, we model as covariates; otherwise, we model as random effects. Statistical inference methods are developed for the proposed models. An example using real data from a water utility illustrates the logical model behavior given parameter choices as well as showing how analysis might inform asset management.