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A Saddlepoint Approximation Based Simulation Method for Uncertainty Analysis
International Journal of Reliability and Safety
  • Beiqing Huang
  • Xiaoping Du, Missouri University of Science and Technology
  • R. E. Lakshminarayana
Uncertainty analysis, which assesses the impact of the uncertainty of input random variables on performance functions, is an important and indispensable component in engineering design under uncertainty. In this paper, a simulation method based on the Saddlepoint Approximation (SPA) is proposed to estimate accurately and efficiently the distribution of a response variable. The proposed method combines both simulation and analytical techniques and involves three main steps: (1) sampling on input random variables, (2) approximating the cumulant generating function (cgf) of the response variable with its first four cumulants and (3) estimating the cumulant distribution function (cdf) and probability density function (pdf) of the response variable using the SPA. This method provides more computationally efficient solutions than the general Monte Carlo Simulation (MCS) while maintaining high accuracy. The effectiveness of the proposed method is illustrated with a mathematical example and two engineering analysis problems.
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
National Science Foundation (U.S.)
University of Missouri--Rolla. Intelligent Systems Center
Keywords and Phrases
  • MCS,
  • Monte Carlo Simulation,
  • SPA,
  • Cgf,
  • Cumulant Generating Function,
  • Engineering Analysis,
  • Reliability Analysis,
  • Saddlepoint Approximation,
  • Uncertainty Analysis
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Engineering design
Document Type
Article - Journal
Document Version
File Type
© 2006 Inderscience, All rights reserved.
Publication Date
Citation Information
Beiqing Huang, Xiaoping Du and R. E. Lakshminarayana. "A Saddlepoint Approximation Based Simulation Method for Uncertainty Analysis" International Journal of Reliability and Safety (2006)
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