New insights on multi-state component criticality and importance

Jose E. Ramirez-Marquez, Claudio M. Rocco, Bethel A. Gebre, David W. Coit, Michael Tortorella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Scopus citations


In this paper, new importance measures for multi-state systems with multi-state components are introduced and evaluated. These new measures complement and enhance current work done in the area of multi-state reliability. In general, importance measures are used to evaluate and rank the criticality of component or component states with respect to system reliability. The focus of the study is to provide intuitive and clear importance measures that can be used to enhance system reliability from two perspectives: (1) how a specific component affects multi-state system reliability and (2) how a particular component state or set of states affects multi-state system reliability. The first measure unsatisfied demand index, provides insight regarding a component or component state contribution to unsatisfied demand. The second measure multi-state failure frequency index, elaborates on an approach that quantifies the contribution of a particular component or component state to system failure. Finally, the multi-state redundancy importance identifies where to allocate component redundancy as to improve system reliability. The findings of this study indicate that both perspectives can be used to complement each other and as an effective tool to assess component criticality. Examples illustrate and compare the proposed measures with previous multi-state importance measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)894-904
Number of pages11
JournalReliability Engineering and System Safety
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


  • Component criticality
  • Importance measures
  • Multi-state system
  • Reliability

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