Nuclear Science and Engineering / Volume 158 / Number 2 / February 2008 / Pages 97-113
The development of the adjoint sensitivity analysis procedure (ASAP) for generic dynamic reliability models based on Markov chains is presented, together with applications of this procedure to the analysis of several systems of increasing complexity. The general theory is presented in Part I of this work and is accompanied by a paradigm application to the dynamic reliability analysis of a simple binary component, namely a pump functioning on an "up/down" cycle until it fails irreparably. This paradigm example admits a closed form analytical solution, which permits a clear illustration of the main characteristics of the ASAP for Markov chains. In particular, it is shown that the ASAP for Markov chains presents outstanding computational advantages over other procedures currently in use for sensitivity and uncertainty analysis of the dynamic reliability of large-scale systems. This conclusion is further underscored by the large-scale applications presented in Part II.