Possible Limitations of Probabilistic Methods in Engineering

[+] Author and Article Information
Isaac Elishakoff

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Fl 33431-0991

Appl. Mech. Rev 53(2), 19-36 (Feb 01, 2000) (18 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3097337 History: Online April 09, 2009


This article summarizes the thinking of researchers and engineers world-wide on possible limitations of probabilistic methods in engineering, with particular emphasis upon structural mechanics. This question was posed over a ten year period (1988-1998) to numerous experts in the field. Written responses were received from 42, and they form the main body of this article. In an extensive discussion section, the author identifies some topics, trends, and thinking which seem to be prevalent in the responses, and supplements these with numerous related observations taken from the published literature, and other experts, who were not included in the original survey. This results in a references list with 52 entries. One ultimate conclusion reached is that reliability is much less known than many think it is.

Copyright © 2000 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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