Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 4

Monte Carlo simulations Related Publications

4 Probabilistic Life Cycle Assessment of the Nano Membrane Toilet

Authors: M. Collins, A. Anastasopoulou, A. Kolios, T. Somorin, A. Sowale, Y. Jiang, B. Fidalgo, A. Parker, L. Williams, E. J. McAdam, S. Tyrrel

Abstract:

Developing countries are nowadays confronted with great challenges related to domestic sanitation services in view of the imminent water scarcity. Contemporary sanitation technologies established in these countries are likely to pose health risks unless waste management standards are followed properly. This paper provides a solution to sustainable sanitation with the development of an innovative toilet system, called Nano Membrane Toilet (NMT), which has been developed by Cranfield University and sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The particular technology converts human faeces into energy through gasification and provides treated wastewater from urine through membrane filtration. In order to evaluate the environmental profile of the NMT system, a deterministic life cycle assessment (LCA) has been conducted in SimaPro software employing the Ecoinvent v3.3 database. The particular study has determined the most contributory factors to the environmental footprint of the NMT system. However, as sensitivity analysis has identified certain critical operating parameters for the robustness of the LCA results, adopting a stochastic approach to the Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) will comprehensively capture the input data uncertainty and enhance the credibility of the LCA outcome. For that purpose, Monte Carlo simulations, in combination with an artificial neural network (ANN) model, have been conducted for the input parameters of raw material, produced electricity, NOX emissions, amount of ash and transportation of fertilizer. The given analysis has provided the distribution and the confidence intervals of the selected impact categories and, in turn, more credible conclusions are drawn on the respective LCIA (Life Cycle Impact Assessment) profile of NMT system. Last but not least, the specific study will also yield essential insights into the methodological framework that can be adopted in the environmental impact assessment of other complex engineering systems subject to a high level of input data uncertainty.

Keywords: Artificial Neural Network, Monte Carlo simulations, LCA, sanitation systems, stochastic uncertainty analysis, nano membrane toilet

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3 Resistance and Sub-Resistances of RC Beams Subjected to Multiple Failure Modes

Authors: F. Sangiorgio, J. Silfwerbrand, G. Mancini

Abstract:

Geometric and mechanical properties all influence the resistance of RC structures and may, in certain combination of property values, increase the risk of a brittle failure of the whole system. This paper presents a statistical and probabilistic investigation on the resistance of RC beams designed according to Eurocodes 2 and 8, and subjected to multiple failure modes, under both the natural variation of material properties and the uncertainty associated with cross-section and transverse reinforcement geometry. A full probabilistic model based on JCSS Probabilistic Model Code is derived. Different beams are studied through material nonlinear analysis via Monte Carlo simulations. The resistance model is consistent with Eurocode 2. Both a multivariate statistical evaluation and the data clustering analysis of outcomes are then performed. Results show that the ultimate load behaviour of RC beams subjected to flexural and shear failure modes seems to be mainly influenced by the combination of the mechanical properties of both longitudinal reinforcement and stirrups, and the tensile strength of concrete, of which the latter appears to affect the overall response of the system in a nonlinear way. The model uncertainty of the resistance model used in the analysis plays undoubtedly an important role in interpreting results.

Keywords: Modelling, Data Clustering, Monte Carlo simulations, reinforced concrete members, Probabilistic Models, Structural Design

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2 Comparing Interval Estimators for Reliability in a Dependent Set-up

Authors: Alessandro Barbiero

Abstract:

In this paper some procedures for building confidence intervals for the reliability in stress-strength models are discussed and empirically compared. The particular case of a bivariate normal setup is considered. The confidence intervals suggested are obtained employing approximations or asymptotic properties of maximum likelihood estimators. The coverage and the precision of these intervals are empirically checked through a simulation study. An application to real paired data is also provided.

Keywords: Asymptotic theory, Monte Carlo simulations, confidence interval, variance estimation, Approximate estimators, stress-strength

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1 A Discretizing Method for Reliability Computation in Complex Stress-strength Models

Authors: Alessandro Barbiero

Abstract:

This paper proposes, implements and evaluates an original discretization method for continuous random variables, in order to estimate the reliability of systems for which stress and strength are defined as complex functions, and whose reliability is not derivable through analytic techniques. This method is compared to other two discretizing approaches appeared in literature, also through a comparative study involving four engineering applications. The results show that the proposal is very efficient in terms of closeness of the estimates to the true (simulated) reliability. In the study we analyzed both a normal and a non-normal distribution for the random variables: this method is theoretically suitable for each parametric family.

Keywords: Approximation, Experimental Design, Monte Carlo simulations, asymmetry, interference theory

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