Inclusion-Exclusion and Network Reliability

  • Klaus Dohmen


Based on a recent improvement of the inclusion-exclusion principle, we present a new approach to network reliability problems. In particular, we give a new proof of a result of Shier, which expresses the reliability of a network as an alternating sum over chains in a semilattice, and a new proof of a result of Provan and Ball, which provides an algorithm for computing network reliability in pseudopolynomial time. Moreover, some results on $k$-out-of-$n$ systems are established.

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