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Keywords:

  • reliability;
  • lifetime data analysis;
  • nonparametric Bayesian methods;
  • Dirichlet process mixture model;
  • Gibbs sampling

Abstract

We propose a nonparametric Bayesian lifetime data analysis method using the Dirichlet process mixture model with a lognormal kernel. A simulation-based algorithm that implements the Gibbs sampling is developed to fit the Dirichlet process lognormal mixture (DPLNM) model using rightly censored failure time data. Five examples are used to illustrate the proposed method, and the DPLNM model is compared to the Dirichlet process Weibull mixture (DPWM) model. Results indicate that the DPLNM model is capable of estimating different lifetime distributions. The DPLNM model outperforms the DPWM model in all the examples, and the DPLNM model shows promising potential to be applied to analyze failure time data when an appropriate parametric model for the data cannot be specified. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Naval Research Logistics, 2013