Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Failure in general refers to the state or condition of not meeting a desirable or intended objective. It may be viewed as the opposite of success .
Criteria for failure
The criteria for failure are heavily dependent on context of use, and may be relative to a particular observer or belief system. A situation considered to be a failure by one might be considered a success by another, particularly in cases of direct competition or a zero-sum game. As well, the degree of success or failure in a situation may be differently viewed by distinct observers or participants, such that a situation that one considers to be a failure, another might consider to be a success, a qualified success or an neutral situation.
It may also be difficult or impossible to ascertain whether a situation meets criteria for failure or success due to ambiguous or ill-defined definition of those criteria. Finding useful and effective criteria, or heuristics, to judge the success or failure of a situation may itself be a significant task.
A context in which failure is frequently used is in formal grading of scholastic achievement. 'Failing a test' or being assigned a 'failing mark' indicates that a student has submitted work or received a mark below a minimum threshold of performance or quality required to continue studies in a subject.
Formal technical definition
Failure is defined in ISO/CD 10303-226 as the lack of ability of a component, equipment, sub system, or system to perform its intended function as designed. Failure may be the result of one or many faults.
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