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Detailed review of: 

Risk Analysis in Engineering: Techniques, Tools and Trends





Taylor & Francis, U.S.A.




Mohammad Modarres




Risk Analysis in Engineering Techniques, Tools and Trends


Year of Publication:














Krishna B. Misra




Review published in IJPE, Vol. 3, No. 3, July 2007, p. 396.

Table of Contents

1       Introduction and Basic Definitions 12 pages
    1.1   Introduction
    1.2   Importance of Risk Analysis
    1.3   Elements and Types of Risk Analysis
    1.4   Risk Assessment
    1.5   Risk Management
    1.6   Risk Communication
       Elements of Risk Assessment 20 pages
     2.1   Types of Risk Assessment
     2.2    Risk, Hazard, Performance and Engineering Risk Assessment
3        Probabilistic Risk Assessment 79 pages
     3.1    Introduction
     3.2    Steps in Concluding a Probabilistic Risk Assessment
     3.3    Strength of PRA
     3.4    Scenario and Logic Modeling, Development and Quantification
     3.5    Modeling of Dependent Failures in Risk Assessment                       
     3.6    A Simple Example of PRA
4        Performance Assessment : Data and Modeling 84 pages
    4.1     Introduction
    4.2     Active Hardware Performance Assessment
    4.3     Statistical Data Analysis for Hardware Items
    4.4     Availability as a Measure of Performance for Repairable Hardware Items
    4.5     Classical Parameter Estimation of Distribution Models for Performance   
              Assessment of Hardware
    4.6     Bayesian Parameters Estimation of Distribution Models for Performance 
              Assessment of Hardware
    4.7     Performance of Passive and Some Active Hazard Barriers through Physics and
              Engineering of Failure    Modeling
    4.8     Software Performance Assessment
    4.9     Human Reliability Analysis
    4.10   Expert Opinion in Risk Assessment and Performance Assessment
5        Uncertainty Analysis 43 pages
    5.1      Introduction
    5.2      Types of Uncertainty
    5.3      Measures of Uncertainty
    5.4      Uncertainty Propagation Methods
    5.5      Comparison of Uncertainty Propagation Methods
    5.6      Graphic Representation of Uncertainty
6         Identifying, Ranking and Predicting Contributors to Risk 34 pages
    6.1       Introduction
    6.2       Importance Ranking in Probabilistic Risk Assessment
    6.3       Importance Measures in Success Risk Assessment
    6.4       A Comprehensive Example of Importance Measure Application
    6.5       Consideration of Uncertainties in Importance Measures Used for Risk-Based
    6.6       Uncertainty Importance Measures
    6.7       Precursor Analysis
7         Representation of Risk Values and Risk Acceptance Criteria 28 pages
    7.1       Introduction
    7.2       Representation of Risk Results
    7.3       Health and Safety Risk Acceptance Criteria
    7.4       Economic Risk and Performance Acceptance Criteria
8        Decision Making Techniques Using Risk Information 28 pages
    8.1        Introduction
    8.2        Economic Methods in Risk Analysis
    8.3        Non-Economic Techniques 
9        Risk Communication 10 pages
    9.1        Introduction
    9.2        Forms of Communication
    9.3        The Basic Rules of Risk Communication
    9.4        Elements of Effective Risk Communication
    9.5        Characteristics of an Effective Risk Communication
    9.6        Risk Perception
Appendix A : Basic Reliability Mathematics: Review of Probability and Statistics 33 pages
    Elements of Probability
    Probability Distributions
    Basic Characteristics of Random Variables
    Estimation and Hypothesis Testing
    Frequency Tables and Histograms
    Goodness-of-fit Tests
    Regression Analysis
Appendix B: Statistical Tables 15 pages
Index 11 pages       

This book comes from a professor who has taught the subject of Risk Assessment for past 20 years at the University of Maryland and has been Director of Center for Reliability Engineering, and is Co-Director, Center for

Risk Analysis in Engineering- Techniques Tools and Trends

Technology Risk Studies and has published extensively in the area of risk assessment and safety and uncertainty analysis. The author claims that this book has been developed as a Guide for practitioners of risk analysis and assumes no prior knowledge of necessary mathematical or probability foundations. For this reason, he has attempted to provide the basic background required for the book in the Appendix A which runs into 33 pages of the book and thus makes the book self-contained. The author brings into this book his experience of publishing three earlier books, namely, What Every Engineer should know about Reliability and Risk Analysis, published by Marcel Dekker, New York, in 1993 and Reliability Engineering and Risk Analysis: A Practical Guide, coauthored with Mark Kaminsky and Vasiliy Krivtsov also published by Marcel Dekker in 1999 and the third one was Commercial Nuclear Power : Assuring Safety for the Future coauthored with Charles B. Ramsey published in March 1998 by John Wiley & Sons. Besides, the author has contributed considerably to the NUREG reports in formulating procedures and guidelines. Therefore this book contains the most used procedures and practices particularly in conducting probabilistic risk assessments of complex systems such nuclear power plants. One of the special feature of this book is the inclusion of several worked out examples in the text and also a large number of exercises at the end of each chapters. This feature makes it very useful for the undergraduate, graduate students who would like to study the subject of risk modeling, assessment and management as a part of their curricula. In fact , the reviewer noticed that Professor Modarres has brought out a supplementary book, titled, Solutions Manual for Risk Analysis Engineering : Techniques, Tools And Trends which may be useful to students and teachers as well. As is clear from the list of contents that the essential elements of Probabilistic Risk Assessment, namely the modeling, data analysis, quantification, and inferences derived from risk analysis, and acceptance criteria have been extensively covered in the book and that also happens to be the strong point of  the book. Uncertainty analysis, analysis of dependent failures, common cause failures , human reliability analysis and risk communication add to the value of the book.

In short the reviewer would like to recommend this book to all those practicing engineers, students, teachers and researchers who would like to make in depth study of the probabilistic risk assessment and associated problems and are looking for their solutions. This is a most comprehensive treatment of the subject.


Krishna B. Misra


Review published in the International Journal of Performability Engineering, Vol. 3, No. 3, July 2007, p. 396.


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