A Dempster-Shafer Theory-based approach to the Failure Mode, Effects and Criticality Analysis (FMECA) under epistemic uncertainty: application to the propulsion system of a fishing vessel

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Abstract

Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is a safety and reliability analysis tool widely used for theidentification of system/process potential failures, their causes and consequences. When aimed at the failuremodes prioritization, FMEA is named Failure Mode, Effects and Criticality Analysis (FMECA). In the latter case,failure modes are commonly prioritized by means of the Risk Priority Number (RPN) that has been widelycriticized to have several shortcomings. Firstly, in the presence of multiple experts supplying different anduncertain judgments on risk parameters, RPN is not able to deal with such a kind of information. Therefore, thepresent paper proposes the Dempster-Shafer Theory (DST) of evidence as a proper mathematical framework todeal with the epistemic uncertainty often affecting the input evaluations on risk parameters. In particular, suchevaluations are supposed to be elicited from experts in an interval or crisp form, and then opportunelypropagated to obtain a multiple-values characterization of the RPN associated with each analyzed failure mode.In order to synthesize the available information and make them useful for failure mode's prioritization aims,Belief and Plausibility distributions are used. The methodology is finally applied to the propulsion system of afishing vessel operating in Sicily.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-79
Number of pages11
JournalRELIABILITY ENGINEERING & SYSTEM SAFETY
Volume159
Publication statusPublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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