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Submitted by HRIDHYA T S

Guided by Dr. N SANKAR

ABSTRACT The major difficulties associated with the determination of engineering properties of soil are the adversities in obtaining undisturbed samples and most of the methods are expensive, time consuming and involve elaborate test procedures. On the other hand, tests to determine index properties are quite simple and less expensive. Hence, there has been many attempts to correlate or predict the engineering properties from the index properties by many researchers. A number of such co-relations can be found in the literature. These methods are usually purely empirical or semi empirical which are generally based on past experience, field observations etc. the reliability or range of accuracies of these predictions are widely varying. Thus it would be ideal to evolve some other method to predict the engineering property of soil from the basic index properties with a higher degree of accuracy or lesser value of error. The ANN is an effective technique that can be used to solve complex problems involving many factors with different degrees of accuracies or confidence levels. In the field of geotechnical engineering, the ANN techniques are being widely used to solve many prediction problems because of the inherent complexities in the domain. In the present work, it is proposed to develop a method for predicting engineering properties of soil from index properties using artificial neural network. The database for the development of the artificial neural network will be based on the various soil investigation works and laboratory tests conducted by the Geotechnical Engineering division of the Civil Engineering department of NIT Calicut. The major input parameters are fine fraction, liquid limit, plasticity index, natural density, natural water content, D10. The output parameters like shear strength parameters (c, ), compressibility parameter (Cc) and permeability will be computed by the network.

1. INTRODUCTION Shear strength, compressibility and permeability are the three basic engineering properties of a soil mass which are often essential in the design of most of the geotechnical engineering problems. The major problems associated with the determination of engineering properties of soil are the difficulties in obtaining undisturbed samples and the time and expenditure required in conducting the required laboratory tests. . In a disturbed sample, the soil structure will be completely altered that the engineering properties will not be representative of in-situ conditions. Whereas, the methods to determine the index properties of soil like liquid limit, plastic limit, water content etc. are favoured over those for determining engineering properties because: The test procedures are simple The tests are less time consuming and inexpensive The tests could be conducted even on disturbed samples to get reasonable results.

Hence, for the above reasons many researchers have made several attempts to correlate the engineering properties of soil with its index properties using many methods or techniques. Amardeep Singh and Shahid Noor [1] describe the method to predict the compression index (Cc) for fine grained soils based on index properties (LL and PI). Nakhaei [6] estimated the saturated hydraulic conductivity of granular material based on grain size distribution curve. Venkatasubramanian and Dhinakaran proposed method for correlating CBR values with the liquid limit, plastic limit, plasticity index, OMC, Maximum dry density, UCC values of various soils. Burak Goktepe et.al[3] performed statistical and artificial neural network (ANN)-based methods on establishing correlations between index properties and shear strength parameters of normally consolidated plastic clays.

As it is difficult to obtain undisturbed samples for determining the engineering properties of soil, alternative methods are required which predict the engineering properties from index properties. Artificial neural network has been used as a successful prediction tool for various geotechnical engineering tasks. Here an attempt is made to predict the engineering properties from index properties using ANN.

2. CONVENTIONAL METHODS OF PREDICTING ENGINEERING PROPERTIES FROM INDEX PROPERTIES Several correlations have been proposed whereby engineering properties like compression index, shear strength parameters and permeability have been evaluated using liquid limit, natural moisture content, initial void ratio, plasticity index, specific gravity, void ratio at liquid limit, and several other properties of soil. A few such well known co-relations are given below. Skemptons formula Skempton (1994) established a relationship between Cc and liquid limits for remoulded clays as, Cc = 0.007 (wl 10) Where wl is the liquid limit in percent Terzaghi and peck formula Based on the work of Skempton and others, Terzaghi and Peck (1976) modified the above equation applicable to normally consolidated clays of low to moderate sensitivity as, Cc = 0.009 (wl 10) Azzouz et al formula Azzouz et al (1976) proposed a number of co-relations based on the statistical analysis of a number of soils. The one of the many reported to have 86 percent reliability is Cc = 0.37 (eo+ 0.003 wl+ 0.0004wc- 0.34) Where eo = in situ void ratio, wl = liquid limit and wc = water content in percent. For organic soil they proposed Cc = 0.115 wc Houghs formula Hough(1957), on the basis of experiments on precompressed soils, has given the following equation Cc = 0.3 (eo 0.27) This equation may be applicable to precompressed soils. Nagaraj and Srinivasa Murthy formula Nagaraj and Srinivasa Murthy formula (1983) have developed equations based on their investigation as follows Cc = 0.2343 el

Cc = 0.39 eo where el is the void ratio at liquid limit and eo in situ void ratio Hazens formula Extensive investigations of clean filter sands by Hazen (1892) lead to the correlation between permeability and effective grain size (D10). Hence it was concluded that the permeability could be determined from grain size or gradation. And obtained the empirical relation, k = CD102 C, a factor which varies from 100 to 150. Sometimes a value of 100 is assumed for all practical purposes. The important factors that affect permeability of soil are: void ratio, grain size, structure and stratification and temperature. Taylors formula To estimate k, at void ratios , Taylor ( 1948) proposed, k1 : k2 = Where, the coefficients c1 and c2 depends on soil structure. :

3. PREDICTION OF ENGINEERING PROPERTIES FROM INDEX PROPERTIES USING NUMERICAL METHODS Different numerical methods have gained wide acceptability among geotechnical engineers as a valuable method of analysis. Some of those methods include the finite element method, boundary element method, etc. In the last two decades there has been a great expansion in the power and availability of numerical procedures. Artificial neural network is one among the most widely used method for solving various problems in geotechnical engineering. For the last few decades, several successful attempts have been made in the field of artificial neural network to solve many geotechnical problems. ANNs learn from data examples presented to them and use these data to adjust their weights in an attempt to capture the relationship between the model input variables and the corresponding outputs. ANNs do not need any prior knowledge about the nature of the relationship between the input/output variables, which is one of the benefits that ANNs have compared with most empirical and statistical methods.

Artificial neural networks (ANNs) are a form of artificial intelligence which attempt to mimic the behaviour of the human brain and nervous system. A typical structure of ANNs consists

of a number of processing elements (PEs), or nodes, that are usually arranged in layers: an input layer, an output layer and one or more hidden layers (Figure 1).

Figure1. Artificial neural network The input from each PE in the previous layer (xi) is multiplied by an adjustable connection weight (wji). At each PE, the weighted input signals are summed and a threshold value (j) is added. This combined input (Ij) is then passed through a non-linear transfer function (f(.)) to produce the output of the PE (yj). The output of one PE provides the input to the PEs in the next layer. This process is summarised in Equations 1 and 2 and illustrated in Figure 1. Ij = wjixi + j------------- (1) summation yj = f(Ij)---------------------(2) transfer The propagation of information in ANNs starts at the input layer where the input data are presented. The network adjusts its weights on the presentation of a training data set and uses a learning rule to find a set of weights that will produce the input/output mapping that has the smallest possible error. This process is called learning or training. Once the training phase of the model has been successfully accomplished, the performance of the trained model has to be validated using an independent testing set.

4. PROPOSED WORK Various stages of the propose work are listed below. Creation of dataset The dataset for the present work is collected from the soil tests conducted in the Geotechnical laboratory of Civil engineering department of NIT Calicut. The dataset include values of

various input parameters like liquid limit, plasticity index, fine fraction, natural moisture content, natural density and various output parameters like compression index, cohesion, angle of friction and permeability. Selection of input parameters The input parameters are selected based on their correlation with engineering properties. Input parameters selected for the present study are liquid limit, plasticity index, fine fraction, natural moisture content, natural density. Development of algorithm for ANN A suitable algorithm for the network has to be developed and the flowchart for the algorithm is prepared. Coding the algorithm The algorithm is coded using C++ or Matlab Validation and testing The soil data collected is divided into two parts using some mode of distribution. A portion of the data is used for training the network and the other portion for testing. The feed forward back propagation training network models have been coded into a MATLAB program using neural network toolbox. The MATLAB software enables training with different convergence criteria, tolerance level, activation functions and number of epochs. The network training/testing halts automatically once the mean square error value converges within the tolerance limit. After this the network is ready for prediction of desired output. Comparison of ANN result with other standard correlations Once we get the output, it is compared with those obtained from standard correlations. Development of suitable user interface A suitable user friendly interface is developed using Visual basic software. Different modules are created for entering input values, analysis of the result, display the output values and even for validation of the result. Provision of necessary help facilities Provisions are give within the interface for any necessary help to the user. Provisions are also given to save or print the result.

5. FLOWCHART FOR PREDICTION PROCESS Data collection and dataset creation

Select input variables

Select neural structure

Training and testing



Figure shows the steps in the general problem of nonlinear system identification: the data collection problem and creation of dataset, the selection of the model family, the selection of the structural parameters of the model in the family (which is equivalent to finding the structure and size of the neural network), the selection of approximate values for the parameters of the model (training of the network) and the validation of the model obtained, and its implementation in a control system.

6. IMPLEMENTATION The problem of prediction is simplified by an ANN based expert system developed in visual basic software. Provisions are given for the user to enter the input parameters. Once the input parameters are entered, the network computes the output which include shear strength parameters, compressibility parameter and permeability. This obtained output is then compared with the result obtained from standard correlations. The user interface is provided

with provisions of necessary help facility to the user. Provisions are provided even for saving the obtained result and also the user can go for printing the output.

Fine fraction liquid limit plasticity index NMC natural density D10

ANN model for engineering property prediction

Compression index


angle of friction permeability

Neural network for engineering property prediction The user interface consists of 4 modules, input, analysis, output and validation. Input module, to enter the numerical values of the input parameters. In the analysis module, the system calculates the engineering properties which include shear strength parameters,

compressibility parameter and permeability. The calculated values are displayed in the output module. And in the validation module, the obtained result is compared with some existing conventional correlations.








1. C, 2. CC 3. k






Literature survey Problem formulation Development of ANN algorithm Familiarization with VB Data collection and dataset creation ANN coding Development of user interface ANN training Testing and Validation Draft preparation and thesis submission

8. SUMMARY The complexity associated with some geotechnical engineering materials such as sand and gravel, is the difficulty in obtaining undisturbed samples and time consuming involving skilled technicians. Shear strength of a soil is perhaps the most important of its Engineering properties, as all stability analyses in the field of Geotechnical Engineering are dependent on Shear strength of soil. Permeability is very important engineering property of soils. Knowledge of permeability is essential in settlement of buildings, yield of wells, seepage trough and below the earth structures. The compression of a saturated soil under a steady static pressure is known as consolidation. It is entirely due to expulsion of water from the voids. To cope up with the difficulties involved, an attempt has been made to model Engineering properties of soil i.e. Shear Strength parameters, permeability and compression index in terms of Fine Fraction (FF), Liquid Limit (WL), Plasticity Index (IP), Natural density, and natural Moisture content. A user friendly user interface is also developed for the

user to input the variables and get the output. Provisions are given to compare the result with conventional correlations. The user can even save and print the results.

REFERNCES 1. Amardeep Singh, Shahid Noor., 2012, Soil Compression Index Prediction Model for Fine Grained Soils, International Journal of Innovations in Engineering and Technology, 4(1) , 34-37 2. Booker J. R, Carter J. P, Small J. C, Brown P. T, Poulos H. G., 1989, Some recent applications of numerical methods to geotechnical analysis, Computers & Structures 31(1), 81-92. 3. Burak Goktep, Selim AltunGokhan Altintas, Ozcan Tan.,2008, Shear strength estimation of plastic clays with statistical and neural approaches, Building and Environment, 43 , 849860 4. Ghanbarian-Alavijeh B, Liaghat A.M., and Sohrabi S., 2010, Estimating Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity from Soil Physical Properties using Neural Networks Model, World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology , 38, 121-126 5. Mohamed A. Shahin, Mark B. Jaksa and Holger R. Maier., 2001, Artificial neural network applications in geotechnical engineering, Australian Geomechanics, 49-62 6. Nakhaei M., 2005, Estimating the Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity of Granular Material, Using Artificial Neural Network, Based on Grain Size Distribution Curve, Journal of Sciences, Islamic Republic of Iran, 16(1), 55-62 7. Rajeev Jain, Pradeep Kumar Jain, Sudhir Singh Bhadauria., 2010, Computational approach to predict soil shear strength, International Journal of Engineering Science and Technology, Vol. 2(8), 3874-3885 8. Sudha Rani, Phani Kumar Vaddi , Vamsi Krishna Togati N.V., 2013 , Artificial Neural Networks (ANNS) For Prediction of Engineering Properties of Soils, International Journal of Innovative Technology and Exploring Engineerin, 3(1), 123130 9. Terzaghi K., Peck R B., 1948, soil mechanics in engineering practice, Wiley, New York 10. V N S Murthy, 1993, A text book of soil mechanics and foundation engineering, Sai Kripa technical consultants, 4th edition, Banglore. 11. WSDOT Geotechnical Design Manual, January 2010, chapter 10