Collaborative reliability analysis under the framework of multidisciplinary systems design

Xiaoping Du, Wei Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations


Traditional Multidisciplinary Design Optimization (MDO) generates deterministic optimal designs, which are frequently pushed to the limits of design constraint boundaries, leaving little or no room to accommodate uncertainties in system input, modeling, and simulation. As a result, the design solution obtained may be highly sensitive to the variations of system input which will lead to performance loss and the solution is often risky (high likelihood of undesired events). Reliability-based design is one of the alternative techniques for design under uncertainty. The natural method to perform reliability analysis in multidisciplinary systems is the all-in-one approach where the existing reliability analysis techniques are applied directly to the system-level multidisciplinary analysis. However, the all-in-one reliability analysis method requires a double loop procedure and therefore is generally very time consuming. To improve the efficiency of reliability analysis under the MDO framework, a collaborative reliability analysis method is proposed in this paper. The procedure of the traditional Most Probable Point (MPP) based reliability analysis method is combined with the collaborative disciplinary analyses to automatically satisfy the interdisciplinary consistency when conducting reliability analysis. As a result, only a single loop procedure is required and all the computations are conducted concurrently at the individual discipline-level. Compared with the existing reliability analysis methods in MDO, the proposed method is efficient and therefore provides a cheaper tool to evaluate design feasibility in MDO under uncertainty. Two examples are used for the purpose of verification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-84
Number of pages22
JournalOptimization and Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2005


  • Collaborative design
  • Most Probable Point
  • Multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO)
  • Reliability analysis
  • Uncertainty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Control and Optimization
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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