Heterogeneous Populations

  • Maxim Finkelstein
  • Ji Hwan Cha
Part of the Springer Series in Reliability Engineering book series (RELIABILITY)


Homogeneity of objects is a unique property that is very rare in nature and in industry. It can be created in the laboratory, but not outside it. Therefore, one can hardly find homogeneous populations in real life; however, most of reliability modeling deals with homogeneous cases. Due to instability of production processes, environmental and other factors, most populations of manufactured items in real life are heterogeneous. Similar considerations are obviously true for biological items (organisms). Neglecting heterogeneity can lead to serious errors in reliability assessment of items and, as a consequence, to crucial economic losses. Stochastic analysis of heterogeneous populations presents a significant challenge to developing mathematical descriptions of the corresponding reliability indices. On the other hand, everything depends on the definition, on what we understand by homogeneous and heterogeneous populations.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mathematical StatisticsUniversity of the Free StateBloemfonteinSouth Africa
  2. 2.Max Planck Institute for Demographic ResearchRostockGermany
  3. 3.Department of StatisticsEwha Womans UniversitySeoulKorea, Republic of South Korea

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