Comparison of Frequencies and Probabilities of Failure in Engineering Sciences

Proske, Dirk (2019). Comparison of Frequencies and Probabilities of Failure in Engineering Sciences In: Proceedings of the 29th European Safety and Reliability Conference (ESREL) (pp. 2040-2044). Singapore: Research Publishing Services 10.3850/978-981-11-2724-3_0816-cd

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The calculation of the probability of failure for technical products is state of the art in science and technology in several different engineering sections. This statement is particularly true for buildings such as houses, dams and bridges. In this paper, calculated probabilities of failure of bridges and dams are compared with observed failure frequencies. Also calculated probabilities of core damages of nuclear power plants are compared with observed core damage frequencies as an example from mechanical engineering. For comparison reasons, the trend in observed failure probabilities for ship boilers, spacecrafts and aircrafts is given. The results of the comparison of the observed and computed values is discussed including the discussion of the advantages and the limitations of the comparisons. It is concluded that although the calculation models are partially incomplete, with differences between the various disciplines, the individual deviations seem to cancel each other out in the sense of the central limit value theorem of statistics and the computed and observed values agree reasonably well.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


School of Architecture, Wood and Civil Engineering > AHB Teaching


Proske, Dirk


Q Science > QA Mathematics
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)




Research Publishing Services


Armin Rist

Date Deposited:

07 Jul 2020 15:33

Last Modified:

01 Oct 2021 02:18

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Probability of failure Failure frequency Bridges Dams Nuclear power plants




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