News Column

Findings from University of Stavanger Yields New Data on Reliability Engineering

May 14, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Engineering -- A new study on Reliability Engineering is now available. According to news originating from Stavanger, Norway, by VerticalNews editors, the research stated, "In quality management, 'common-cause variation' and 'special-cause variation' are key concepts used to control and improve different types of processes. In this paper we study the meaning of these concepts, having a special focus on the latter concept: how is the special-cause concept linked to ideas and concepts used in risk and uncertainty management, to reflect unforeseen and surprising events? In the quality discourse it is common to refer to two possible mistakes when confronting the variation: (i) to react to an outcome as if it were from a special cause, when actually it came from common causes of variation; and (ii) to treat an outcome as if it were from common causes of variation, when actually it came from a special cause."

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from the University of Stavanger, "However, at the point of decision making it is difficult or impossible to know what the 'true' state is. It is also appropriate to ask whether such a true state does in fact exist."

According to the news editors, the research concluded: "In the paper we discuss these issues, the main aim of the paper being to improve our understanding of some of the fundamental concepts used in risk and quality management."

For more information on this research see: On the meaning of the special-cause variation concept used in the quality discourse - And its link to unforeseen and surprising events in risk management. Reliability Engineering & System Safety, 2014;126():81-86. Reliability Engineering & System Safety can be contacted at: Elsevier Sci Ltd, The Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford OX5 1GB, Oxon, England. (Elsevier -; Reliability Engineering & System Safety -

The news correspondents report that additional information may be obtained from T. Aven, University of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway.

Keywords for this news article include: Norway, Europe, Stavanger, Reliability Engineering

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Source: Journal of Engineering

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