Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

An Approximation Algorithm for the Coefficients of the Reliability Polynomial



Brian D. Cloteaux, Isabel M. Beichl, F Sullivan


The reliability polynomial gives the probability that a graph remains connected given that each edge in it can fail independently with a probability p. While in general determining the coefficients of this polynomial is #P-complete, we give a randomized algorithm for approximating its coefficients. When compared to the known approximation method of Colbourn, Debroni and Myrvold, our method empirically shows a much faster rate of convergence.
Congressus Numerantium


reliability polynomial, randomized algorithm


Cloteaux, B. , Beichl, I. and Sullivan, F. (2010), An Approximation Algorithm for the Coefficients of the Reliability Polynomial, Congressus Numerantium, [online], (Accessed June 24, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created March 15, 2010, Updated February 19, 2017