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Title: Application of Gaussian Process Modeling to Analysis of Functional Unreliability

This paper applies Gaussian Process (GP) modeling to analysis of the functional unreliability of a “passive system.” GPs have been used widely in many ways [1]. The present application uses a GP for emulation of a system simulation code. Such an emulator can be applied in several distinct ways, discussed below. All applications illustrated in this paper have precedents in the literature; the present paper is an application of GP technology to a problem that was originally analyzed [2] using neural networks (NN), and later [3, 4] by a method called “Alternating Conditional Expectations” (ACE). This exercise enables a multifaceted comparison of both the processes and the results. Given knowledge of the range of possible values of key system variables, one could, in principle, quantify functional unreliability by sampling from their joint probability distribution, and performing a system simulation for each sample to determine whether the function succeeded for that particular setting of the variables. Using previously available system simulation codes, such an approach is generally impractical for a plant-scale problem. It has long been recognized, however, that a well-trained code emulator or surrogate could be used in a sampling process to quantify certain performance metrics, even for plant-scale problems.more » “Response surfaces” were used for this many years ago. But response surfaces are at their best for smoothly varying functions; in regions of parameter space where key system performance metrics may behave in complex ways, or even exhibit discontinuities, response surfaces are not the best available tool. This consideration was one of several that drove the work in [2]. In the present paper, (1) the original quantification of functional unreliability using NN [2], and later ACE [3], is reprised using GP; (2) additional information provided by the GP about uncertainty in the limit surface, generally unavailable in other representations, is discussed; (3) a simple forensic exercise is performed, analogous to the inverse problem of code calibration, but with an accident management spin: given an observation about containment pressure, what can we say about the system variables? References 1. For an introduction to GPs, see (for example) Gaussian Processes for Machine Learning, C. E. Rasmussen and C. K. I. Williams (MIT, 2006). 2. Reliability Quantification of Advanced Reactor Passive Safety Systems, J. J. Vandenkieboom, PhD Thesis (University of Michigan, 1996). 3. Z. Cui, J. C. Lee, J. J. Vandenkieboom, and R. W. Youngblood, “Unreliability Quantification of a Containment Cooling System through ACE and ANN Algorithms,” Trans. Am. Nucl. Soc. 85, 178 (2001). 4. Risk and Safety Analysis of Nuclear Systems, J. C. Lee and N. J. McCormick (Wiley, 2011). See especially §11.2.4.« less
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Conference: Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management (PSAM-12),Honolulu, HI,06/22/2014,06/27/2014
Research Org:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
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United States