Maximization of system reliability with a choice of redundancy strategies

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Optimal solutions to the redundancy allocation problem are determined when either active or cold-standby redundancy can be selectively chosen for individual subsystems. This problem involves the selection of components and redundancy levels to maximize system reliability. Previously, solutions to the problem could only be found if analysts were restricted to a predetermined redundancy strategy for the complete system. Generally, it had been assumed that active redundancy was to be used. However, in practice both active and cold-standby redundancy may be used within a particular system design and the choice of redundancy strategy becomes an additional decision variable. Available optimization algorithms are inadequate for these design problems and better alternatives are required. The methodology presented here is specifically developed to accommodate the case where there is a choice of redundancy strategy. The problem is formulated with imperfect sensing and switching of cold-standby redundant components and k-Erlang distributed time-to-failure. Optimal solutions to the problem are found by an equivalent problem formulation and integer programming. The methodology is demonstrated on a well-known test problem with interesting results. The optimal system design is distinctly different from the corresponding design obtained with only active redundancy. The availability of this tool can result in more reliable and cost-effective engineering designs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)535-543
Number of pages9
JournalIIE Transactions (Institute of Industrial Engineers)
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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