Fundamentals of Risk Assessment

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by A. H-S. Ang,

Abstract: Risk, expressed in terms of potential human sufferings and economic losses, is very real and its significance is particularly important when considering natural hazards. For effective engineering decision-making relative to protection and mitigation against extreme hazard forces, risk ought to be assessed and presented in terms consistent with other technical engineering information—that is, quantitatively. To this end, the fundamental elements of quantitative risk assessment (QRA) are described and illustrated numerically with a hypothetical example. The process of QRA includes the estimation of the risk, as well as the uncertainty associated with the calculated risk. The example is intended to illustrate the concepts and procedures for QRA and also to show that they are consistent with other engineering analysis procedures, which are invariably in quantitative terms.

Subject Headings: Risk management | Human factors | Economic factors | Natural disasters | Decision making | Numerical methods | Uncertainty principles | Quantitative analysis |


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