Fault Tree Analysis (FTA) is widely applied to assess the failure probability of industrial systems. Many computer packages are available which are based on conventional Kinetic Tree Theory methods. When dealing with large (possibly non-coherent) fault trees, the limitations of the technique in terms of accuracy of the solutions and the efficiency of the processing time becomes apparent. Over recent years the Binary Decision Diagram (BDD) method has been developed that solves fault trees and overcomes the disadvantages of the conventional FTA approach. First of all, a fault tree for a particular system failure mode is constructed and then converted to a BDD for analysis. This paper analyses alternative methods for the fault tree to BDD conversion process.
For most fault tree to BDD conversion approaches the basic events of the fault tree are placed in an ordering. This can dramatically affect the size of the final BDD and the success of qualitative and quantitative analyses of the system. A set of rules are then applied to each gate in the fault tree to generate the BDD. An alternative approach can also be used, where BDD constructs for each of the gate types are first built and then merged to represent a parent gate. A powerful and efficient property, sub-node sharing, is also incorporated in the enhanced method proposed in this paper. Finally a combined approach is developed taking the best features of the alternative methods. The efficiency of the techniques is analysed and discussed.
Remenyte-Prescott, R., & Andrews, J. (2008). An enhanced component connection method for conversion of fault trees to binary decision diagrams. Reliability Engineering and System Safety, 93(10), doi:10.1016/j.ress.2007.09.001