To account for the uncertainties in the design of a geotechnical system, reliability-based design approach is often adopted, in which the main task is to evaluate reliability index of the system based on a performance function (or limit state function). In this paper, we propose a new method for computing the reliability index, based upon the numerical integration of the cumulative distribution function (CDF) of the performance function. This numerical integration method requires only a deterministic evaluation of the system performance and the joint probability of the uncertain input parameters. The effectiveness and the efficiency of the proposed method, measured in terms of the accuracy and the computational effort, respectively, are demonstrated with two geotechnical problems: a drilled shaft in sand and a semi-gravity retaining wall. The new method is found valid regardless of the type of distribution of uncertain input parameters, whether the correlations exist among these input parameters, whether the system involves single or multiple failure modes, and how the performance function is formulated.
- Cumulative distribution function
- drilled shaft
- Monte Carlo simulation
- reliability index
- retaining wall