2012年，我與朱曉燕合著的可靠性專著 Importance Measures in Reliability, Risk and Optimization: Principles and Applications（《系統重要性測度原理與應用》）由美國的 John Wiley & Sons 公司出版。 書中詳細闡述了重要性測度在可靠性領域的應用 ，並將重要性測度的概念加以推廣，用於解決可靠性、風險以及數學規劃中許多實際問題。
前不久，突然收到北京航空航天大學的康銳教授寄來的一本書。打開一看，竟是我這本書的中文譯文版。原來，康銳教授應國防工業出版社之邀，聯同大陸多所大學的同業教授，從 Springer 出版的「可靠性工程叢書」中選了10本，外加 Wiley、World Scientific、Cambridge、CRC、Prentice Hall 等其他出版社出版的專著各一本，合共15本，策劃翻譯出版了《可靠性維修性保障性學術專著譯叢》。我這本書就是他們從 Wiley 出版的學術專著中選取的那本。按出版總序的話說，他們選取這些著作的基本原則是：「原著內容是當前國內學術界缺乏的或工業人界急需的，主題涵蓋了相關領域的科研前沿、熱點問題以及最新研究成果，叢書中各專著原作者均為相關領域國際知名的專家、學者。」
Chinese translation edition of Importance Measures
Importance Measures in Reliability, Risk and Optimization: Principles and Applications, a book I co-authored with Xiaoyan Zhu, was published by John Wiley & Sons in 2012. It talks about the applications of importance measures in reliability and how the concept is extended into solving many practical problems in reliability, risk management and mathematical plans.
Not too long ago, I received a package from Professor Rui Kang of Beihang University in Beijing. When I opened the package, I discovered to my surprise it was the Chinese translation of my book on importance measures. It turns out Professor Kang has recruited a dozen professors from various universities on the mainland for the translation and publishing of 15 academic books that cover most of the timely and important topics in reliability research areas at the invitation of the National Defense Industry Press. Entitled Translation of Academic Books on Reliability, Maintainability and Security, the collection consists of 10 books from the Springer Series in Reliability Engineering and five, one each respectively, from Wiley, World Scientific, Cambridge, CRC, and Prentice Hall. My book happens to be the one they selected from Wiley. As stated in their Preface, the fundamental principle for selecting these books is: "The content of the original books is either what is currently lacking in the academic field in China or urgently needed in the industry, covering topics ranging from forefront scientific research, hot issues to the most up-to-date research results in related fields. The authors of the original books are all well-known experts and scholars in the world".
Importance measures are a new research development area in risk management and reliability. Admittedly, this is a fairly professional academic book, as well as one of the new contributions to reliability, risk assessment and optimisation research. It is of interest to industry as well as academia, especially for scholars or PhD and master's students engaged in reliability, maintainability and security and engineering practitioners as a reference.
In spite of that, the content of the book, i.e. the fields that importance measures are involved with and the problems they aim to solve, is highly related to our daily life. To cite the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011, as a familiar example, the nuclear reactors in the plant shut down automatically after the earthquake. But the emergency generators that supplied power to cool down the reactors and spent fuel pools were knocked out by the tsunami. The flood also cut off rescue support from other places. The importance measures addressed in this book provide the most efficient way to identify the bottleneck in the system failure by providing a methodology to follow.
Another well-publicised incident is the high-speed train crash in Wenzhou, China, in July of the same year. During the accident, a train ran into the back of another that had stalled on a viaduct after lightning cut its power supply, killing at least 40 people. No matter if the accident was the result of a mechanical fault, a management problem, or a manufacturing problem, it highlighted the crucial role of reliability, safety, and scheduling in constructing and operating a complex high-tech transportation network. If better planning had been studied using the concept of importance measures, such accidents can be greatly minimised.
Importance measures have wide applications in various fields. In transportation and the rail industry, they have been used to prioritise rail sections in order to effectively decrease delays; they find great use in identifying and releasing traffic congestion in big cities, dispatching the traffic flow after major sports events, planning highway construction and dealing with other transportation-related issues. In addition, the analysis based on importance measures can enhance the survivability of the airline network; the methods based on importance measures will be powerful tools in computer science research; they will be one of the most practical decision tools in solving actual problems we face in the software development, management science, risk analysis, fault diagnosis and maintenance, random forests and the use of lithium-ion polymer electric batteries.
As such, I am delighted to say, this book will serve to promote reliability development in China together with the other books in the collection.
19 October, 2015