Journal of Systems Engineering and Electronics ›› 2021, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (5): 1221-1231.doi: 10.23919/JSEE.2021.000104

• RELIABILITY • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Reliability analysis of k-out-of-n system with load-sharing and failure propagation effect

Ying CHEN1(), Qichao MA2,*(), Ze WANG1(), Yingyi LI1()   

  1. 1 Science and Technology on Reliability and Environmental Engineering Laboratory, Beihang University, Beijing 100191, China
    2 Institute of Electronic Engineering, China Academy of Engineering Physics, Mianyang 621999, China
  • Received:2020-07-16 Online:2021-10-18 Published:2021-11-04
  • Contact: Qichao MA;;;
  • About author:|CHEN Ying was born in 1977. She received her Ph.D. degree in instrument science and technology from Tsinghua University, Beijing China, in 2006. She is currently an associate professor with the School of Reliablity and Systems Engineering, Beihang University. She was a visiting scholar of University of California, Los Angeles during 2016–2017. Her research interests include failure behavior and reliablity modeling method, and risk science. E-mail:||MA Qichao was born in 1995. He received his B.S. degree and M.S. degree from the School of Reliability and Systems Engineering, Beihang University in 2018 and 2021, respectively. He is specialized in systems engineering, reliability of electronic products and system failure behavior. E-mail:||WANG Ze was born in 1994. He received his B.S. degree from the College of Aerospace and Civil Engineering, Harbin Engineering University, Harbin, China, in 2017. He is currently pursing his Ph.D. degree in the School of Reliability and Systems Engineering, Beihang University. His primary research interests include failure behavior modeling and reliability simulation. E-mail:||LI Yingyi was born in 1993. She received her B.S. degree from Minzu University in 2015 and M.S. degree from Beihang University in 2018. She is is currently pursing her Ph.D. degree in the School of Reliability and Systems Engineering, Beihang University, Beijing, China. She is specialized in systems engineering, reliability of electronic products, and system failure behavior. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (61503014)


In complex systems, functional dependency and physical dependency may have a coupling effect. In this paper, the reliability of a k-out-of-n system is analyzed considering load-sharing effect and failure mechanism (FM) propagation. Three types of FMs are considered and an accumulative damage model is proposed to illustrate the system behavior of the k-out-of-n system and the coupling effect between load-sharing effect and FM propagation effect. A combinational algorithm based on Binary decision diagram (BDD) and Monte-Carlo simulation is presented to evaluate the complex system behavior and reliability of the k-out-of-n system. A current stabilizing system that consists of a 3-out-of-6 subsystem with FM propagation effect is presented as a case to illustrate the complex behavior and to verify the applicability of the proposed method. Due to the coupling effect change, the main mechanism and failure mode will be changed, and the system lifetime is shortened. Reasons are analyzed and results show that different sensitivity factors of three different FMs lead to the change of the development rate, thus changing the failure scenario. Neglecting the coupling effect may lead to an incomplete and ineffective measuring and monitoring plan. Design strategies must be adopted to make the FM propagation insensitive to load-sharing effect.

Key words: k-out-of-n system, load-sharing effect, failure mechanism propagation, damage factor model, combinational algorithm