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Function Based Risk Assessment: Mapping Function to Likelihood

[+] Author Affiliations
Katie Grantham Lough, Robert Stone

University of Missouri at Rolla, Rolla, MO

Irem Y. Tumer

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

Paper No. DETC2005-85053, pp. 455-467; 13 pages
  • ASME 2005 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 5a: 17th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
  • Long Beach, California, USA, September 24–28, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4742-X | eISBN: 0-7918-3766-1
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


Risk assessments are necessary to anticipate and prevent accidents from occurring or repeating. This paper focuses specifically on the relationship between function and risk by presenting a mathematical mapping from product function to risk likelihood. This type of mapping will aid designers by removing the subjectivity of the likelihood value from a risk element, provide three key risk element properties (design parameter, failure mode, and likelihood) for numerous risk elements with one simple mathematical calculation, and provide a means for inexperienced designers to effectively address risk in the conceptual design phase. In addition, the level of detail a functional model should be written in to produce adequate likelihood risk assessments is examined. Three case studies are used to validate the proposed mapping: A spacecraft orientation subsystem, a subsystem to guide science instruments on an extraterrestrial, and subsystems from a Bell 206 rotorcraft. The work described in this paper continues is part of ongoing research relating function to failure.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME
Topics: Risk assessment



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