The growing effort to improve a mechanical system’s performance with a sustainable perspective has created more complexity due to the need for additional technological subsystems. Increased complexity could result in new failure modes for systems making performance assessment more challenging. Therefore, it is essential to develop frameworks to assess performance based on a broader approach beyond single indicators. However, when considering reliability, resilience, robustness, and vulnerability (3RV) concepts as single mathematical-based models for assessing a system’s performance, designers are confronted by similarities between these concepts. In this regard, integrating these four concepts and developing a comprehensive variable (herein called system adaptivity) could better unify 3RV as a single objective function. Consequently, this study presents independent definitions for each concept and identifies common aspects and interrelationships between them. Finally, a system adaptivity objective function will be defined quantitatively by evaluating identified characteristics and internal and external relations for each concept in the previous step. This new prospect could represent a system’s adaptivity as an integrated framework towards different defined failure scenarios.

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