International Transactions in Operational Research

Integrating probabilistic design and rare‐event simulation into the requirements engineering process for high‐reliability systems

Journal Article

Abstract

Early in a program, engineers must determine requirements for system reliability and availability. We suggest that existing techniques gathered from diverse fields can be incorporated within the framework of systems engineering methodology to accomplish this. Specifically, adopting probabilistic (Monte Carlo) design techniques allows the designer to incorporate uncertainty explicitly into the design process and to improve the designer's understanding of the root causes of failures and how often these might realistically occur. In high‐reliability systems in which failure occurs infrequently, rare‐event simulation techniques can reduce the computational burden of achieving this understanding. This paper provides an introductory survey of the literature on systems engineering, requirements engineering, Monte Carlo simulation, probabilistic design, and rare‐event simulation with the aim of assessing the degree to which these have been integrated in systems design for reliability. This leads naturally to a proposed framework for the fusion of these techniques.

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