Fault trees for block diagram analysis



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Block diagrams and fault trees were developed independently as two separate techniques for systems reliability or unreliability analysis. One of the major purposes of this thesis is to emphasize the communality of the two techniques in the hope of bridging the communication gap which now exists between researchers in these fields. Both techniques are shown to yield similar results and are combined to give a more integrated approach to the problem. A fault tree considerably simplifies the quantitative analysis of a system since the relations between its variables are expressed in terms of simple Boolean logic operations. This thesis shows a procedure for automatically transforming a block diagram into a fault tree. The technique is based on a computer oriented algorithm developed to detect all the minimal paths leading to the success of a system represented by a block diagram.