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Multivariate Statistical Modeling and Analysis of Accelerated Degradation Testing Data for Reliability Prediction

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Degradation process, as a course of progressive deterioration, commonly exists on many engineering systems. Since most failure mechanisms of these systems can be traced to the underlying degradation process, utilizing degradation data for reliability prediction is much needed. In industries,

Degradation process, as a course of progressive deterioration, commonly exists on many engineering systems. Since most failure mechanisms of these systems can be traced to the underlying degradation process, utilizing degradation data for reliability prediction is much needed. In industries, accelerated degradation tests (ADTs) are widely used to obtain timely reliability information of the system under test. This dissertation develops methodologies for the ADT data modeling and analysis.

In the first part of this dissertation, ADT is introduced along with three major challenges in the ADT data analysis – modeling framework, inference method, and the need of analyzing multi-dimensional processes. To overcome these challenges, in the second part, a hierarchical approach, that leads to a nonlinear mixed-effects regression model, to modeling a univariate degradation process is developed. With this modeling framework, the issues of ignoring uncertainties in both data analysis and lifetime prediction, as presented by an International Standard Organization (ISO) standard, are resolved. In the third part, an approach to modeling a bivariate degradation process is addressed. It is developed using the copula theory that brings the benefits of both model flexibility and inference convenience. This approach is provided with an efficient Bayesian method for reliability evaluation. In the last part, an extension to a multivariate modeling framework is developed. Three fundamental copula classes are applied to model the complex dependence structure among correlated degradation processes. The advantages of the proposed modeling framework and the effect of ignoring tail dependence are demonstrated through simulation studies. The applications of the copula-based multivariate degradation models on both system reliability evaluation and remaining useful life prediction are provided.

In summary, this dissertation studies and explores the use of statistical methods in analyzing ADT data. All proposed methodologies are demonstrated by case studies.

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2020