Epistemic uncertainty in reliability-based design optimization

Xiaotian Zhuang, Rong Pan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Scopus citations


Reliability-based design optimization (RBDO) needs to take into account of both aleatory and epistemic uncertainties. It is critical to explore these uncertainty sources and evaluate their impacts on RBDO. This paper provides a comprehensive study of uncertainties, in which the uncertainty sources are listed, categorized and their impacts are discussed. Epistemic uncertainty is of our interest, which is due to lack of knowledge and can be reduced. We specifically discuss the epistemic uncertainties due to unknown constraint function and unknown random variable distribution. The strategies to address epistemic uncertainty are summarized. An I-beam case study is employed to illustrate the impact of epistemic un certainty on RBDO, in which a Kriging model is used to approximate the unknown true constraint function and the root-mean-square error (RMSE) parameter estimate is used to replace the unknown distribution parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2012 Annual Reliability and Maintainability Symposium, RAMS 2012 - Proceedings and Tutorials
StatePublished - 2012
Event2012 Annual Reliability and Maintainability Symposium, RAMS 2012 - Reno, NV, United States
Duration: Jan 23 2012Jan 26 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings - Annual Reliability and Maintainability Symposium
ISSN (Print)0149-144X


Other2012 Annual Reliability and Maintainability Symposium, RAMS 2012
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityReno, NV


  • Epistemic Uncertainty
  • Reliability-Based Design Optimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • General Mathematics
  • Computer Science Applications


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