Skip to main content

Reliability of Safety-Critical Systems: Theory and Applications

Reliability of Safety-Critical Systems: Theory and Applications

Marvin Rausand

ISBN: 978-1-118-55338-1

Mar 2014

466 pages



Presents the theory and methodology for reliability assessments of safety-critical functions through examples from a wide range of applications


Reliability of Safety-Critical Systems: Theory and Applications provides a comprehensive introduction to reliability assessments of safety-related systems based on electrical, electronic, and programmable electronic (E/E/PE) technology. With a focus on the design and development phases of safety-critical systems, the book presents theory and methods required to document compliance with IEC 61508 and the associated sector-specific standards.


Combining theory and practical applications, Reliability of Safety-Critical Systems: Theory and Applications implements key safety-related strategies and methods to meet quantitative safety integrity requirements. In addition, the book details a variety of reliability analysis methods that are needed during all stages of a safety-critical system, beginning with specification and design and advancing to operations, maintenance, and modification control. The key categories of safety life-cycle phases are featured, including strategies for the allocation of reliability performance requirements; assessment methods in relation to design; and reliability quantification in relation to operation and maintenance. Issues and benefits that arise from complex modern technology developments are featured, as well as:


  • Real-world examples from large industry facilities with major accident potential and products owned by the general public such as cars and tools
  • Plentiful worked examples throughout that provide readers with a deeper understanding of the core concepts and aid in the analysis and solution of common issues when assessing all facets of safety-critical systems
  • Approaches that work on a wide scope of applications and can be applied to the analysis of any safety-critical system
  • A brief appendix of probability theory for reference


With an emphasis on how safety-critical functions are introduced into systems and facilities to prevent or mitigate the impact of an accident, this book is an excellent guide for professionals, consultants, and operators of safety-critical systems who carry out practical, risk, and reliability assessments of safety-critical systems. Reliability of Safety-Critical Systems: Theory and Applications is also a useful textbook for courses in reliability assessment of safety-critical systems and reliability engineering at the graduate-level, as well as for consulting companies offering short courses in reliability assessment of safety-critical systems.

Preface xii

Acknowledgments xvii

1 Introduction 1

2 Concepts and Requirements 25

3 Failures and Failure Analysis 53

4 Testing and Maintenance 77

5 Reliability Quantification 91

6 Relaiability Data Sources 165

7 Demand Modes and Performance Measures 175

8 Average Probability of Failure on Demand 191

9 Average Frequency of Dangerous Failures 273

10 Common-Cause Failures 309

11 Imperfect Proof-Testing 343

12 Spurious Activation 359

13 Uncertainty Assessment 381

14 Closure 393

Appendix A Elements of Probability Theory 399

Acronyms 423

Symbols 427

Bibliography 431

Index 443