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ON THE IMPORTANCE OF DIFFERENT COMPONENTS IN A MULTICOMPONENT SYSTEM
WASHINGTON UNIV SEATTLE LAB OF STATISTICAL RESEARCH
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In a system whose functioning or failure depends on the functioning or failure of its components, some components may play a more important part than others. A quantitative definition of this notion of importance is proposed in the present paper for systems with coherent structures, assuming 1 that only the structure of the system is known, or 2 that also the reliabilities of all components are known. Some theoretical properties of the so defined concepts are discussed, and applications are presented to such problems as allocation of spare parts or appropriation of funds for improvement of component reliability.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE