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Technical paper: Probability theory in geotechnics - an introduction

By G N Smith, Herriot-Watt University

This paper was first published in GE’s October 1981 issue


When using limit state design one acknowledges that, for any proposed structure, there will always be a risk of failure and, provided that this probability of failure is acceptable, there is no need to strengthen the structure further. In the above context ‘failure’s defined as either the failure of the structure to satisfy some limit serviceability state or as the ultimate failure of the structure. 

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