This chapter describes how reliability-based methods of design and analysis have gained increasing acceptance in academic circles and are beginning to be acknowledged and used by engineer practitioners. Reliability methods take a probabilistic approach to designing a structure in which the result is a reliability index or a probability of failure rather than a factor of safety. In structural design, critical factors such as loads, resistances, deterioration models, and human errors are highly random, and the associated uncertainties must be quantified to ensure the safety of the public. The factor of safety, which is commonly found in methods such as allowable stress design (ASD), is an empirical attempt that is usually based on past experience in order to quantify the global effect of all sources of uncertainty associated with a particular situation. Such an approach is computationally less difficult than a reliability-based approach but makes it impossible to ensure a uniform level of safety across a variety of structures. In general, the requisite safety in ASD usually is achieved through overdesign. However dangerous underdesign situations also are encountered using the ASD approach. Reliability methods will only increase in usage and prominence as they become more standardized and accepted in the engineering community. Assessing structural condition at a point in time and using that information to forecast future performance in probabilistic terms will only continue to increase in importance.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated

    111 River Street
    Hoboken, NJ  United States  07030-6000
  • Authors:
    • Estes, A C
    • Frangopol, D M
  • Publication Date: 2005


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 00988718
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0471647195
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 20 2005 12:00AM