System reliability assessment within multilevel component supply chain networks

Pingfeng Wang, Prasanna Tamilselvan, Krishna Krishnan

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The importance of system reliability has been well conceived by engineers in the last few decades. With an increasing intensity of global competition as well as a growing need of transferability of co-design best practices to different firms and countries, engineering system design has been to a great extend outsourced to component or subsystem suppliers. The involvement of suppliers in system design practices imposes a new challenge for system engineers that system reliability assurance must be implemented within multilevel component supply chain networks. This paper presents a generic framework to address system reliability assessment problems in the presence of design involvements of multiple component suppliers. A unified procedure is proposed in the framework to generalize the system reliability analysis and novel methodologies are developed to enable the implementation of the procedure. First, a system structure matrix is proposed as a compact form representation of the logic relationships between system components; Second, a system path sets determination algorithm is developed to find out the minimum system path sets from the system structure matrix, with which system reliability can be computed in a unified manner; Third, probabilities of the basic events are employed for the encoding of system reliability and the supplier reliability information for multilevel component safety events and joint safety events to account for the heterogeneity and insufficiency of available reliability information. With these developed methodologies, system reliability bounds can be approximated through solving two linear programming problems with the system reliability as the objective function and the supplier reliability information as the linear constraints. One case study is presented to demonstrate the proposed system reliability assessment framework.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
Event61st Annual Conference and Expo of the Institute of Industrial Engineers - Reno, NV, United States
Duration: May 21 2011May 25 2011


Other61st Annual Conference and Expo of the Institute of Industrial Engineers
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityReno, NV


  • Linear programming
  • Probability of failure
  • Supply chain network
  • System reliability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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