Probabilistic Analysis of Domino Effects by Using a Matrix-Based Simulation Approach

Jianfeng Zhou*, Genserik Reniers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Major industrial accidents occurring at so-called major hazard installations may cause domino accidents which are among the most destructive industrial accidents existing at present. As there may be many hazard installations in an area, a primary accident scenario may potentially propagate from one installation to another, and correlations exist in probability calculations of domino effects. In addition, during the propagation of a domino effect, accidents of diverse types may occur, some of them having a synergistic effect, while others do not. These characteristics make the analytical formulation of domino accidents very complex. In this work, a simple matrix-based modeling approach for domino effect analysis is proposed. Matrices can be used to represent the mutual influences of different escalation vectors between installations. On this basis, an analysis approach for accident propagation as well as a simulation-based algorithm for probability calculation of accidents and accident levels is provided. The applicability and flexibility of this approach is discussed while applying it to estimate domino probabilities in a case study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1913-1927
Number of pages15
JournalRisk Analysis
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Domino effect
  • domino level
  • matrix modeling
  • Monte Carlo simulation
  • probability analysis


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