Patterns in Listings of Failure-Rate & MTTF Values and Listings of Other Data

Peter W. Becker

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It has been observed that the decimal parts of failure-rate and MTTF values as listed in tables tend to have a logarithmic distribution. A possible explanation for this phenomenon is given. When such tables have been generated they should be examined to see if the anticipated distribution is present; should that not be the case, a systematic error might well be present. Such testing is one practical application of the observation. The decimal-values from long lists of data quite often tend to have a logarithmic distribution as pointed out by Newcomb and Benford. The phenomenon may be explained in several different ways, depending upon the nature of the data. References to their papers and those by other authors are given. The reader may turn to tables in his own field of interest; such tables will in all likelihood also show the same regularity.
Original languageEnglish
JournalI E E E Transactions on Reliability
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)132-134
Publication statusPublished - 1982

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