Authors: Michael Todinov
Addresses: School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, Wheatley, OX33 1HX, UK
Abstract: The method of self-reinforcement has been introduced as a domain-independent method for improving reliability and reducing risk. A key feature of self-reinforcement is that increasing the external/internal forces intensifies the system's response against these forces. As a result, the driving net force towards precipitating failure is reduced. In many cases, the self-reinforcement mechanisms achieve remarkable reliability increase at no extra cost. Two principal ways of self-reinforcement have been identified: reinforcement by capturing a proportional compensating factor and reinforcement by using feedback loops. Mechanisms of transforming forces and motion into self-reinforcing response have been introduced and demonstrated through appropriate examples. Mechanisms achieving self-reinforcement response by self-aligning, self-anchoring and self-balancing have also been introduced. For the first time, the potential of positive feedback loops to achieve self-reinforcement and risk reduction was demonstrated. In this respect, it is shown that self-energising, fast growth and fast transition provided by positive feedback loops can be used with success for achieving reliability improvement. Finally, a classification was proposed of methods and techniques for reliability improvement and risk reduction based on the method of self-reinforcement.
Keywords: domain-independent; reliability improvement; risk reduction; self-reinforcement; positive feedback loop.
International Journal of Risk Assessment and Management, 2019 Vol.22 No.1, pp.18 - 43
Received: 15 Jun 2017
Accepted: 13 May 2018
Published online: 25 Oct 2018 *