Academic Editor: Ray K. L. Su
Copyright © 2013 Syed Eqbal Alam et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
We propose a new class of mathematical structures called -semirings (which generalize the usual semirings) and describe their basic properties. We define partial ordering and generalize the concepts of congruence, homomorphism, and so forth, for -semirings. Following earlier work by Rao (2008), we consider systems made up of several components whose failures may cause them to fail and represent the set of such systems algebraically as an -semiring. Based on the characteristics of these components, we present a formalism to compare the fault-tolerance behavior of two systems using our framework of a partially ordered -semiring.