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The Failure-Based Paradigm

  1. William Q. Meeker1,
  2. Yili Hong2,
  3. Luis A. Escobar3

Published Online: 15 FEB 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470400531.eorms0876

Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science

Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science

How to Cite

Meeker, W. Q., Hong, Y. and Escobar, L. A. 2011. The Failure-Based Paradigm. Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    Iowa State University, Department of Statistics, Ames, Iowa

  2. 2

    Virginia Tech, Department of Statistics, Blacksburg, Virginia

  3. 3

    Louisiana State University, Department of Experimental Statistics, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 FEB 2011


The objective of this article is to describe the failure-based paradigm for reliability and explain the use of failure-time data to assess product reliability. After discussing the main sources and characteristics of failure-time data, we introduce some basic reliability metrics such as failure probability and hazard rate and the nonparametric and parametric estimation of these or related metrics. We present a brief introduction to regression methods to incorporate explanatory variables in the analysis of reliability data. The analysis of data with multiple failure modes (competing risks) is illustrated with an example. The article concludes with a discussion of some trends in the next generation of failure-time reliability data. Materials for further reading are provided.


  • accelerated life tests;
  • dynamic data for reliability;
  • log location–scale distribution;
  • multiple failure modes;
  • probability plot;
  • regression analysis for reliability data