Bayesian degradation modelling for spare parts inventory management

Cesar Ruiz, Edward Pohl, Haitao Liao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Decision makers in various sectors, such as manufacturing and transportation, strive to minimize downtime costs. Often, brief-planned stoppage times allow for changes in shifts and line configurations and longer periods are scheduled for major repairs. It is quite important to proactively make use of these downtimes to reduce the costs of unexpected downtimes due to failures. Among many aspects, the availability of spare parts significantly affects the operational costs of such systems. Current sensor technologies enable the condition monitoring of critical components and degradation-based spare parts management. This paper focuses on Bayesian degradation modelling for spare parts inventory management for a new system. We propose a stochastic dynamic program to minimize the expected spare parts inventory cost for a fixed planning horizon. A numerical example illustrates the value of Bayesian analysis in this management setting. The proposed methodology finds the optimal time between long stoppages and optimal spare parts order quantity when the prior information about the degradation process is accurate. The methodology can be used to analyse the sensitivity of the optimal solution to changes in the accuracy and bias of the prior distributions of the model parameters, the cost structure and the number of machines in the system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-49
Number of pages19
JournalIMA Journal of Management Mathematics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021


  • Bayesian degradation modelling
  • Spare parts inventory management
  • Stochastic dynamic programming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Applied Mathematics


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