Uncertainty in reliability estimation : when do we know everything we know?

M.J.H.A. Houben, P.J.M. Sonnemans, M.J. Newby

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


In this paperwe demonstrate the use of an adapted GroundedTheory approach through interviews and their analysis to determine explicit uncertainty (known unknowns) for reliability estimation in the early phases of product development.We have applied the adapted Grounded Theory approach in a case study in the medical systems industry. In this paper it will be shown that a large number of factors affecting reliability and its uncertainty can be identified, and that exhaustiveness regarding the number of these factors can be achieved using an adapted Grounded Theory approach. Moreover, these factors can be related to the various stages in the product lifecycle. Thirdly, taking a holistic approach, we conclude that these factors can be physical (product related) as well as non-physical (process related) in nature. Finally, we discuss the possibility to extend this research towards a quantified approach using Bayesian Networks.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReliability, risk, and safety : theory and applications
EditorsR. Bris, C. Guedes Soares, S. Martorell
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherTaylor and Francis Ltd.
ISBN (Print)978-0-415-55509-8
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Event2009 European Safety and Reliability Conference (ESREL 2009) - Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: 7 Sept 200910 Sept 2009


Conference2009 European Safety and Reliability Conference (ESREL 2009)
Country/TerritoryCzech Republic


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