Various surrogate modeling methods have been developed to generate approximate functions of expensive numerical simulations. They can be used in reliability analysis when integrated with a numerical reliability analysis method such as a first-order or second-order reliability analysis method (FORM/SORM), or Monte Carlo simulations (MCS). In this chapter, a few surrogate modeling methods are briefly reviewed. A reliability analysis approach using surrogate models based on radial basis functions (RBFs) and successive RBFs is presented. The RBF surrogate modeling method is a special type of interpolation method, as the model passes through all available sample points. Augmented RBFs are adopted to create approximate models of a limit state/performance function, before the failure probability can be computed using MCS. To improve model efficiency, a successive RBF (SRBF) surrogate modeling method is investigated. Several mathematical and practical engineering examples are solved. The failure probabilities computed using the SRBF surrogate modeling method are fairly accurate, when a reasonable sample size is used to create the surrogate models. The method based on augmented RBF surrogate models is useful for probabilistic analysis of practical problems, such as civil and mechanical engineering applications.
Part of the book: Reliability and Maintenance