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Capturing Interactions and Emergent Failure Behavior in Complex Engineered Systems at Multiple Scales

[+] Author Affiliations
Nikolaos Papakonstantinou, Seppo Sierla

Aalto University, Alto, Finland

David C. Jensen, Irem Y. Tumer

Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Paper No. DETC2011-47767, pp. 1045-1054; 10 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 2: 31st Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, Parts A and B
  • Washington, DC, USA, August 28–31, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5479-2
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


Large complex systems exhibit complex nominal and failure behavior and understanding that behavior is critical to the accurate assessment of risk. However, this assessment is difficult to accomplish in the early design stage. Multiple subsystem interactions and emergent behavior further complicate early design risk analysis. The goal of this paper is to demonstrate necessary modifications of an existing function-based failure assessment tool for application to the large complex system design domain. Specifically, this paper demonstrates how specific adaptations to this early, qualitative approach to system behavioral simulation and analysis help overcome some of the challenges to large complex system design. In this paper, a boiling water nuclear reactor design serves as a motivating case study for showing how this approach can capture complex subsystem interactions, identify emergent behavior trends, and assess failures at both the component and system level.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME
Topics: Failure



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