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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2014, Article ID 674804, 9 pages
Research Article

Reliability Evaluation of Data Communication System Based on Dynamic Fault Tree under Epistemic Uncertainty

School of Information Engineering, Nanchang University, Nanchang 330031, China

Received 16 March 2014; Accepted 12 May 2014; Published 27 May 2014

Academic Editor: Xiangyu Meng

Copyright © 2014 Rongxing Duan and Jinghui Fan. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Fault tree analysis is a well-structured, precise, and powerful tool for system evaluation. However, the conventional approach has been found to be inadequate to deal with the absence of fault data, failure dependency, and uncertainty problems. This paper presents a comprehensive study on the evaluation of data communication system (DCS) using dynamic fault tree approach based on fuzzy set. It makes use of the advantages of the dynamic fault tree for modelling, fuzzy set theory for handling uncertainty, and Bayesian network (BN) for inference ability. Specifically, it adopts expert elicitation and fuzzy set theory to evaluate the failure rates of the basic events for DCS and uses a dynamic fault tree model to capture the dynamic failure mechanisms. Furthermore, some reliability parameters can be calculated by mapping a dynamic fault tree into an equivalent BN. The results show that the proposed method is more flexible and adaptive than conventional fault tree analysis for fault diagnosis and reliability estimation of DCS.