Rare event simulation for dynamic fault trees

Enno Ruijters (Corresponding Author), Daniël Reijsbergen, Pieter-Tjerk de Boer, Mariëlle Stoelinga (Corresponding Author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    32 Citations (Scopus)
    540 Downloads (Pure)


    Fault trees (FT) are a popular industrial method for reliability engineering, for which Monte Carlo simulation is an important technique to estimate common dependability metrics, such as the system reliability and availability. A severe drawback of Monte Carlo simulation is that the number of simulations required to obtain accurate estimations grows extremely large in the presence of rare events, i.e., events whose probability of occurrence is very low, which typically holds for failures in highly reliable systems.

    This paper presents a novel method for rare event simulation of dynamic fault trees with complex repairs that requires only a modest number of simulations, while retaining statistically justified confidence intervals. Our method exploits the importance sampling technique for rare event simulation, together with a compositional state space generation method for dynamic fault trees.

    We demonstrate our approach using three parameterized sets of case studies, showing that our method can handle fault trees that could not be evaluated with either existing analytical techniques using stochastic model checking, nor with standard simulation techniques.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)220-231
    Number of pages12
    JournalReliability engineering & system safety
    Early online date2 Feb 2019
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019


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