The main goal of this paper is to propose the probabilistic description of cyclical (business) fluctuations. We generalize a fixed deterministic cycle model by incorporating the time-varying amplitude. More specifically, we assume that the mean function of cyclical fluctuations depends on unknown frequencies (related to the lengths of the cyclical fluctuations) in a similar way to the almost periodic mean function in a fixed deterministic cycle, while the assumption concerning constant amplitude is relaxed. We assume that the amplitude associated with a given frequency is time-varying and is a spline function. Finally, using a Bayesian approach and under standard prior assumptions, we obtain the explicit marginal posterior distribution for the vector of frequency parameters. In our empirical analysis, we consider the monthly industrial production in most European countries. Based on the highest marginal data density value, we choose the best model to describe the considered growth cycle. In most cases, data support the model with a time-varying amplitude. In addition, the expectation of the posterior distribution of the deterministic cycle for the considered growth cycles has similar dynamics to cycles extracted by standard bandpass filtration methods.
The paper presents a detailed analysis of the material damaging process due to lowcycle fatigue and subsequent crack growth under thermal shocks and high pressure. Finite Element Method (FEM) model of a high pressure (HP) by-pass valve body and a steam turbine rotor shaft (used in a coal power plant) is presented. The main damaging factor in both cases is fatigue due to cycles of rapid temperature changes. The crack initiation, occurring at a relatively low number of load cycles, depends on alternating or alternating-incremental changes in plastic strains. The crack propagation is determined by the classic fracture mechanics, based on finite element models and the most dangerous case of brittle fracture. This example shows the adaptation of the structure to work in the ultimate conditions of high pressure, thermal shocks and cracking.