Function Based Risk Assessment: Mapping Function to Likelihood


Risk assessments are necessary to anticipate and prevent accidents from occurring or repeating. This paper focuses specifically on the relationship between function and risk by presenting a mathematical mapping from product function to risk likelihood. This type of mapping will aid designers by removing the subjectivity of the likelihood value from a risk element, provide three key risk element properties (design parameter, failure mode, and likelihood) for numerous risk elements with one simple mathematical calculation, and provide a means for inexperienced designers to effectively address risk in the conceptual design phase. In addition, the level of detail a functional model should be written in to produce adequate likelihood risk assessments is examined. Three case studies are used to validate the proposed mapping: A spacecraft orientation subsystem, a subsystem to guide science instruments on an extraterrestrial, and subsystems from a Bell 206 rotorcraft. The work described in this paper continues is part of ongoing research relating function to failure.


Engineering Management and Systems Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Bell 206 Rotorcraft; Accidents; Likelihood; Mathematical Mapping; Risk Assessments; Spacecraft Orientation Subsystem

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2005 American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), All rights reserved.

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