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10007544

A Partially Accelerated Life Test Planning with Competing Risks and Linear Degradation Path under Tampered Failure Rate Model

In this paper, we propose a method to model the
relationship between failure time and degradation for a simple step
stress test where underlying degradation path is linear and different
causes of failure are possible. It is assumed that the intensity function
depends only on the degradation value. No assumptions are made
about the distribution of the failure times. A simple step-stress test
is used to shorten failure time of products and a tampered failure
rate (TFR) model is proposed to describe the effect of the changing
stress on the intensities. We assume that some of the products that
fail during the test have a cause of failure that is only known to
belong to a certain subset of all possible failures. This case is known
as masking. In the presence of masking, the maximum likelihood
estimates (MLEs) of the model parameters are obtained through an
expectation-maximization (EM) algorithm by treating the causes of
failure as missing values. The effect of incomplete information on the
estimation of parameters is studied through a Monte-Carlo simulation.
Finally, a real example is analyzed to illustrate the application of the
proposed methods.