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An ordering heuristic to develop the binary decision diagram based on structural importance

journal contribution
posted on 18.08.2006, 12:13 by Lisa JacksonLisa Jackson, J.D. Andrews
Fault tree analysis is often used to assess risks within industrial systems. The technique is commonly used although there are associated limitations in terms of accuracy and efficiency when dealing with large fault tree structures. The most recent approach to aid the analysis of the fault tree diagram is the Binary Decision Diagram (BDD) methodology. To utilise the technique the fault tree structure needs to be converted into the BDD format. Converting the fault tree requires the basic events of the tree to be placed in an ordering. The ordering of the basic events is critical to the resulting size of the BDD, and ultimately affects the performance and benefits of this technique. A number of heuristic approaches have been developed to produce an optimal ordering permutation for a specific tree. These heuristic approaches do not always yield a minimal BDD structure for all trees. This paper looks at a heuristic that is based on the structural importance measure of each basic event. Comparing the resulting size of the BDD with the smallest generated from a set of six alternative ordering heuristics, this new structural heuristic produced a BDD of smaller or equal dimension on 77 percent of trials.



  • Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering


  • Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering


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BARTLETT, L.M. and ANDREWS, J.D., 2001. An ordering heuristic to develop the binary decision diagram based on structural importance. Reliability Engineering & System Safety, 72 (1), pp. 31-38


© Elsevier

Publication date



This article was published in the journal, Reliability Engineering & System Safety [© Elsevier] and is also available at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/09518320