In a static network reliability model one typically assumes that the failures of the components of the network are independent. This simplifying assumption makes it possible to estimate the network reliability efficiently via specialized Monte Carlo algorithms. Hence, a natural question to consider is whether this independence assumption can be relaxed, while still attaining an elegant and tractable model that permits an efficient Monte Carlo algorithm for unreliability estimation. In this article we provide one possible answer by considering a static network reliability model with dependent link failures, based on a Marshall-Olkin copula, which models the dependence via shocks that take down subsets of components at exponential times, and propose a collection of adapted versions of permutation Monte Carlo (PMC, a conditional Monte Carlo method), its refinement called the turnip method, and generalized splitting (GS) methods, to estimate very small unreliabilities accurately under this model. The PMC and turnip estimators have bounded relative error when the network topology is fixed while the link failure probabilities converge to 0. When the network (or the number of shocks) becomes too large, PMC and turnip eventually fail, but GS works nicely for very large networks, with over 5000 shocks in our examples.
Published February 2015 , 28 pages