SINNAMON, R.M. and ANDREWS, J.D., 1997. New approaches to evaluating fault trees. Reliability Engineering and System Safety, 58, pp.89-96
Fault Tree Analysis is now a widely accepted technique to assess the probability and frequency of system failure in many industries. For complex systems an analysis may produce hundreds of thousands of combinations of events which can cause system failure (minimal cut sets). The determination of these cut sets can be a very time consuming process even on modern high speed digital computers. Computerised methods, such as bottom-up or top-down approaches, to conduct this analysis are now so well developed that further refinement is unlikely to result in vast reductions in computer time. It is felt that substantial improvement in computer utilisation will only result from a completely new approach. This paper describes the use of a Binary Decision Diagram for Fault Tree Analysis and some ways in which it can be efficiently implemented on a computer. In particular, attention is given to the production of a minimum form of the Binary Decision Diagram by considering the ordering that has to be given to the basic events of the fault tree.