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On engineering reliability concepts and biological aging


  • Maxim S. Finkelstein

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)


Some stochastic approaches to biological aging modeling are studied. We assume that an organism acquires a random resource at birth. Death occurs when the accumulated dam-age (wear) exceeds this initial value, modeled by the discrete or continuous random vari-ables. Another source of death of an organism is also taken into account, when it occurs as a consequence of a shock or of a demand for energy, which is a generalization of the Strehler-Mildwan’s model (1960). Biological age based on the observed degradation is also defined. Finally, aging properties of repairable systems are discussed. We show that even in the case of imperfect repair, which is certainly the case for organisms, aging slows down with age and eventually can even fade out. This presents another possible explanation for the human mortality rate plateaus.

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  • Maxim S. Finkelstein, 2006. "On engineering reliability concepts and biological aging," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2006-021, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2006-021

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. A. R. Thatcher, 1999. "The long-term pattern of adult mortality and the highest attained age," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 162(1), pages 5-43.
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    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General

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