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CHAPTER 1

INTRODUCTION
1.1 Introduction
In geotechnical engineering, empirical relationships are often used to estimate certain
engineering properties of soils. Using Data from extensive laboratory or field testing, these
correlations are usually derived with the aid of statistical methods. Artificial neural networks
(ANNs) are a form of artificial intelligence which attempt to mimic the function of the
human brain and nervous system. ANNs learn from data examples presented to them in
order to capture the functional relationships among the data even if the underlying
relationships are unknown or the physical meaning is difficult to explain. This is in contrast
to most traditional empirical and statistical methods, which need prior knowledge about the
nature of the relationships among the data. ANNs are thus well suited to modeling the
complex behavior of most geotechnical engineering materials which, by their very nature,
exhibit extreme variability. This modeling capability, as well as the ability to learn from
experience, have given ANNs superiority over most traditional modeling methods since
there is no need for making assumptions about what the underlying rules that govern the
problem in hand could be.
ANN is still considered as black box system with poor generalization, though various
attempts made for refinement and explanations. Recently support vector machine (SVM),
based on statistical learning theory and structural risk minimization is being used as an
alternate prediction model. The SVM uses structural constrained minimization penalizing the
error margin during training. The error function being a convex function better
generalization used to observe in SVM compared to ANN.
Though AI techniques has proved to have the superior predictive ability than other
traditional methods for modeling complex behavior of geotechnical engineering materials,

still it is facing some criticism due to the lack of transparency, knowledge extraction and
model uncertainty. To overcome this there is a development of improvised AI techniques.
1.2 Origin of Project

In geotechnical engineering, empirical relationships are often used to estimate certain


engineering properties of soils.

Computational techniques learn from data examples presented to them in order to


capture the functional relationships among the data even if the underlying relationships are
unknown or the physical meaning is difficult to explain.

This is in contrast to most traditional empirical and statistical methods, which need
prior knowledge about the nature of the relationships among the data.

Soft-computing techniques are well suited to modeling the complex behavior of most
geotechnical engineering materials which, by their very nature, exhibit extreme variability.
1.3 Objective

To apply various soft-computing techniques like ANN, MARS and SVM in


parametric estimation of Geotechnical problems.

To model for relative density of granular soil from grain size distribution and
compaction energy.

To model for compaction parameters (Maximum Dry Density and Optimum Moisture
Content) of granular and c- soils from index properties and compaction energy.

To model for compression Index from various physical properties of clayey soil.

To compare predictions from different models.

To validate the developed model with available field data.


1.4 Relevances in Geotechnical Engineering

Various geotechnical problems where ANN has been applied are:


For predicting the axial and lateral load capacities in compression and uplift of pile
foundations.
Classical constitutive modeling based on the elasticity and plasticity theories to properly
simulate the behavior of geomaterials.
For estimating several soil properties including the pre-consolidation pressure, shear
strength and stress history, swell pressure, compaction and permeability, soil classification
and soil density.
Predicting liquefaction potential.
Bearing capacity and Settlement prediction of shallow foundations.
Other applications of ANNs in geotechnical engineering include retaining walls, dams,
blasting, mining, geo-environmental engineering, rock mechanics, site characterization,
tunnels and underground openings and slope stability.
1.5 Methodology for Soft-Computing

Artificial Neural Network (ANN)

A universal function approximator and fast to evaluate new examples.

Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines (MARS)

Capacity to find the complex data mapping in high dimensional data and produce
simple, easy-to-interpret models.

Support Vector Machine

The quality of generalization and ease of training of SVM is better.


1.6 Software Required
For the above modeling MATLAB R2008b, R-soft V3.0 will be used.