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Title: Reliability improvement and risk reduction through self-reinforcement

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.

DOI: 10.1504/IJRAM.2019.096686

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 *

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