A Bayesian Approach for Aggregating Test Data Across Sub-Populations
In the process of conducting a reliability analysis of a system, quite often the population of interest is not homogenous; consisting of sub-populations which arise as production operations are adjusted, component suppliers are changed, etc. While these sub-populations are each unique in many ways, they also have much in common. It is also common for data to be available from a variety of different test regimes, e.g. environmental testing and fleet maintenance observations. Hierarchical Bayesian methods provide an organized, objective means of estimating the reliability of the individual systems, the sub-population reliability as well as the reliability of the entire population. This paper provides an introduction to a Bayesian approach that can be extended for more complicated situations.