Survival with competing risks and masked causes of failures

Betty J. Flehinger, Benjamin Reiser, Emmanuel Yashchin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Consider a life testing situation in which systems are subject to failure from independent competing risks. The hazards of various risks are proportional to each other. When a failure occurs, immediate, i.e. stage 1, procedures are used in an attempt to reach a definitive diagnosis. If a diagnosis is not reached, this phenomenon is called masking. Stage 2 procedures, such as failure analysis or autopsy, provide definitive diagnosis for a small sample of the masked cases. This paper shows how stage 1 and stage 2 information can be combined to provide statistical inference about (a) survival functions of the individual risks, (b) the proportions of failures associated with individual risks and (c) probability, for a specified masked case, that each of the masked competing risks is responsible for the failure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-164
Number of pages14
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Kaplan-meier
  • Life testing
  • Masking
  • Proportional hazards
  • Reliability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • General Mathematics
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
  • Applied Mathematics


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