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STRUCTURAL
RELIABILITY
Module # 02
Lecture 2

Course Format: Web

Instructor:
Dr. Arunasis Chakraborty
Department of Civil Engineering
Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati

Course Instructor: Dr. Arunasis Chakraborty
1
2. Lecture 02: Theory of Probability
Theory of Probability
According to definition, probability is an outcome A which occurs T times in N mutually
exclusive, equally likely and exhaustive trials then probability of occurrence of A is given by
| |
N
T
A P = 2.2.1
i.e. relative frequency of occurrence. Note that A is an event in sample space S. Three axioms of
probability are given by
Axiom I: Probability of occurrence of any event can neither be less than 0 nor be greater than 1,
i.e.
2.2.2
Axiom II: The certainty of outcome is unity i.e.
| | 1 = S P 2.2.3
Axiom III: Outcomes are mutually exclusive, equally likely and exhaustive. So, if are
mutually exclusive events in S , then

| | | | | | | | ..... ....
3 2 1 3 2 1
+ + + = A P A P A P A A A P 2.2.4
For finite number of such events (say ),

| | | |

=
=
k
r
r k
A P A A A A P
1
3 2 1
....
2.2.5
As an example, consider the design of a structure. After construction only two outcomes are
possible either success or failure. Both are mutually exclusive, they are also called exhaustive
and no other outcome is also possible.
| | 1 0 s s A P
,..... ,
2 1
A A
k

Lecture 02: Theory of Probability
Course Instructor: Dr. Arunasis Chakraborty
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2.2.6
The probability of success of the structure is Reliability, which is given by

or
2.2.7

Set Theory
Let us consider throwing of a die. The result of each throw is a number from 1 to 6. Each
throwing is an event and each result is an outcome. Collection of all possible outcomes is called
sample space, which is normally defined by S.

Note that sample space may be finite or infinite.
A problem for readers to be solved by themselves. Considering the case of dice outcomes, as
explained above and find out | | 2 P , | | 4 s A P .
Events can be defined in various types, as
- Simple Event : that consists of only one event
- Compound Event : made up of two or more simple event
- Certain Event :
an event that consists of all possible sample
point in the sample space
- Null Event : complement of certain event

Venn Diagram
Sets or events, as discussed above under Set Theory, can be expressed with logically relations
between them in the sample space via a special format of diagram called as Venn diagram. This
was first introduced by British mathematician, John Venn, in year 1880. Venn diagrams are
widely accepted and are easy to represent. The diagram is bounded in a rectangular box which, in
fact, represents the sample space of the sets, as shown in Figure 2.2.1 and 2.2.2. The sets or
events can be shown in circular or any appropriate shape within the circle for logical
representation of their corresponding relations between the other sets or events. Thus, relations
like union ( ), intersection ( ), mutually exclusive, complement (.
c
) etc. can be expressed. The
figures shown below shows a set or event and its complement (see Figure 2.2.1) and union of
two sets or events (see Figure 2.2.2).
| | | | 1 = + failure P success P
1 = +
f
P R
f
P R =1
{ } 6 , 5 , 4 , 3 , 2 , 1 = S

Lecture 02: Theory of Probability
Course Instructor: Dr. Arunasis Chakraborty
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A few of the basic laws used in set theory are listed below:
Identity Laws
A A = |
A S A =
S S A =
| | = A
Idempotent Laws A A A = A A A =
Complement Laws | =
c
A A
Commutative Laws
DeMorgan's Laws
Associative Laws
Distributive Laws
where, stands for null event.
Exercise (for practice)
1. What is the probability of getting Head in a single toss of an unbiased coin?
2. A die is tossed and the number of points appearing on the uppermost face is observed.
What is the probability of obtaining (a) an even number, (b) an odd number) (c) less than
3 and (d) a six?
3. If 10 persons are arranged at random (i) in a line (ii) in a circle, find out the probability
that 2 particular persons will be next to each other?
4. Two vehicles are approaching a road junction. Probability of leading vehicle turning right
is 0.3 and that of following vehicle is 0.6. The probability of both the vehicles turning
S A A
c
=
A B B A = A B B A =
( )
c c c
B A B A = ( )
c c c
B A B A =
( ) ( ) C B A C B A = ( ) ( ) C B A C B A =
( ) ( ) ( ) C A B A C B A = ( ) ( ) ( ) C A B A C B A =

Figure 2.2.1 Venn diagram showing a set
and its complement
Figure 2.2.2 Venn diagram showing
intersection of two sets

A
A
c

S

A B

Lecture 02: Theory of Probability
Course Instructor: Dr. Arunasis Chakraborty
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right is 0.1. Find out conditional probability that the following will turn right if the
leading vehicle turns right. What is the probability of the following vehicle not turning
right when the leading vehicle is not turning right?
5. Using Venn diagram, proof that
| | | | | | | | B A P B P A P B A P + = 2.2.8
2.2.9

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | C B A P C A P C B P B A P C P B P A P C B A P + + + =