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1.

INTRODUCTION

Concrete is a composite material that is composed of coarse aggregate, fine aggregate


along with a fluid cement (binding medium), which hardens over time. Concrete mix
design is the process of finding right proportions of cement, sand and aggregates for
concrete to achieve target strength in structures. So, concrete mix design can be stated
as Concrete Mix = Cement:Sand:Aggregates. Benefits of concrete mix design is that it
provides the right proportions of materials, thus making the concrete construction
economical in achieving required strength of structural members. As, the quantity of
concrete required for large constructions are huge, economy in quantity of materials
such as cement makes the project construction economical. There are various methods
of mix design using the respective codes assigned for each. These include American
Concrete Institute code or the ACI method, Bureau of Indian standards or the IS
method (IS 10262) etc. Though these methods are practiced even today, these prove to
be very tedious and the probability of errors is also more when we need to design for
mixes at sites that require results at a faster rate. The artificial neural networks prove
to be one amongst the solutions to mitigate these disadvantages.

Soft computing tools, neural network and fuzzy logic can be used for the problems,
where no solution algorithm is known. The mix design of concrete can be put under
same category of problem. Again, development of required concrete mix, which
required large sets of trial, is a very complex problem in itself. The feature of
computer aided soft computing tools can be used to obtain reliable relationship
between various design parameters of concrete mix (Aggregate/Cement,
Water/Cement, Workability, Durability, Strength) and reduces the requirement of
large number of trials. In present paper an attempt has been made to design Artificial
Neural Network system to design a concrete mix based on Indian Standard Institute
(I.S.I.) method. On the basis of this representation, a general block architecture of a
ANN to capture the vagueness and approximations in various steps of design as per
guidelines given by different methods of concrete mix design.

It is known that ANN performance largely depends on the training data and its
reliability. Thus, the intrinsic vagueness and approximations in the data of ISI design
method used for the training will also be reflected in the predictions made by the

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ANN model. Thus, the real use of ANN model in designing a concrete mix would be
if a particular design parameter goes missing or is unknown. The weights assigns to
the input and outputs have been modified at various levels within the frame itself by
the use of back propagation neural network architecture.

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2. LITERATURE REVIEW

A. R.S. Kale, S. Y. Kute(2014), "Five Layers Artificial Neural Network System


[Ann] to Design a Concrete Mix Based on I.S.I. Method", Current Advances
in Civil Engineering.
In this article a five layer ANN system was designed using IS method where
419 data sets from ACI and IS methods were used out of which 319 was used
to train the network and 100 for testing the networks. The various inputs were
carefully selected for each layers of input so that the weights are adjusted with
high accuracy. Back proportion algorithm had been used here too which is one
common used algorithms of all ANN systems. The study throws a light on
how effectively ANNs can be designed to solve a non- linear problem like a
mix design which is very complex to analyse since it involves a lot of
prediction and probabilities. The results of the study proves that these systems
are capable of yielding satisfactory results and can be nevertheless used for
desiging concrete of the desired grades.
B. Rama Shanker, Anil Kumar Sachan(2014), "Concrete Mix Design Using
Neural Network"
In this article an ANN was developed using fineness modulus of fine and
coarse aggregates, target strength of design concrete, workability of concrete
and grade of cements and outputs were weight of cement, water, fine
aggregates, 10mm and 20mm coarse aggregates. The study proves that any
concrete can be made in a economical manner using the proposed approach
and the results are likely the same as the ones obtained when using the
conventional design practices.
C. Sakshi Gupta(2013), Concrete Mix Design Using Artificial Neural Network
In the study, Artificial intelligence controller was proposed for determination of
the Compressive strengths at various ages 7, 14 and 28 days. The graphs show a
marginal difference between the actual and predicted values. This difference is
acceptable as the method is approximate. From the end user (engineers) point of
view, outcome of the model is significant on following counts; it provides a way
to capture inherent vagueness in the design. It offers flexibility for the mix design
expert to decide appropriate value for parameters like 7, 14 and 28 compressive
strength. Successful prediction of the outputs was done by all the methods, which

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indicated that ANN could be useful modeling tool for engineers and research
scientists in the area of cement and concrete.
D. M.H. Mohammed, M. Al-Gburi, N. Al-Ansari, J.E.Jonasson, R. Pusch
and S. Knutsson(2012), " Design of Concrete Mixes by Systematic Steps and
ANN"
In this study, compressive strength model depending on nine input parameters
using ANN was established. It has been demonstrated that the ANN technique
is reliable for predicting a quick system to design concrete proportions and
estimate its compressive strength. This approach was capable of finding
relationship between different uncertain parameters with multiple inputs and
output principles. It was found that the characteristics of this system were
reducing the large number of trail mixes and this leads to decrease of labor,
financial expenditure and finally gives a flexible schedule for the work
construction activities on site. It can also provide essential imprecision in the
design steps proposed by other methods. This way offers flexibility to decide
the appropriate value for unclear parameters by mix design and does not
require high quality professional for its application. Comparative studies with
common methods showed that the Quad-form area and Quick methods were
giving very well accepted results.

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3. ARTIFICIAL NEURAL NETWORK (ANN)
Artificial neural networks (ANN) were developed to model the human brain.
Even, an ANN fairly simple and small in size when compared to the human brain has
some powerful characteristics in knowledge and information processing due to its
similarity to the human brain. Therefore, an ANN can be a powerful tool for
engineering applications. The initial studies on ANN are supposed to have started in
1943. McCulloch and Pitts defined artificial neurons for the first time and developed a
neuron model. McCulloch and Pitts’ network formed the basis for almost all later
neural network models. Afterwards, as a second hit, in 1958 Frank Rosenblatt
devised a machine called the perceptron that operated much in the same way as the
human mind.

The Perceptron: A Probabilistic Model for Information Storage and Organization in


the Brain. Rosenblatt’s perceptrons consist of ‘‘sensory” units connected to a single
layer of neurons. Rumelhardt et al. derived a learning algorithm for perceptron
networks with constituted hidden units. Their learning algorithm is called back
propagation and is now the most widely used learning algorithm.

Fig 1. Typical structure of ANN

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Fig 2. ANN Architecture

As it can be seen from Figure 2, an artificial neuron is composed of five main


parts: inputs, weights, sum function, activation function and outputs. Inputs are
information that enters the neuron from other neurons of external world. Weights are
values that express the effect of an input set or another process element in the
previous layer on this process element. Sum function is a function that calculates the
effect of inputs and weights absolutely on this process element. This function
computes the net input that comes to a neuron . The weighted sums of the input
components (net)j are calculated using Eq.(1) as follows:
𝑛𝑒𝑡𝑗 = ∑𝑛𝑖=1 𝑊𝑖𝑗 𝑋𝑖 + 𝑏................................... (1)
where netj is the weighted sum of the jth neuron for the input received from the
previous layer with n neurons, w is the weight between the jth neuron in the previous
layer, xi is the output of the ith neuron in the previous layer . A fixed value as internal
addition and P represents sum function. Activation function is a function that
processes the net input obtained from sum function and determines the neuron output.
In general, for multilayer feed forward models as the activation function sigmoid
activation function is used. The output of the jth neuron (out) is computed using Eq.
(2) with a sigmoid activation function as follows :
(out)j = ƒ (net) =1/(1+e-a(net)j )............................(2)

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The sigmoid nonlinearity activates in every layer except in the input layer . The
sigmoid activation function represented by Eq. (2) gives outputs in (0, 1). If desired,
the outputs of this function can be adjusted to (-1,1) interval. As the sigmoid
processor represents a continuous function, it is particularly used in non-linear
descriptions. Because its derivatives can be determined easily with regard to the
parameters within (net)j variable .
Learning in an ANN can be classified into three;

 Supervised Learning
 Unsupervised Learning
 Reinforcement Learning
Supervised learning is used in back propagation.

Neural
X network (W) Y
(Input) W (Actual output)

Error(D-Y)signal Error signal D


generator
( Desired output)
Fig 3 . Supervised learning

Back-propagation algorithm, as one of the most well known training


algorithms for the multilayer perceptron, is a gradient descent technique to minimize
the error for a particular training pattern in which it adjusts the weights by a small
amount at a time. The non-linear sigmoid activation function is used in the hidden
layer and the neuron outputs at the output layer. Here 2 factors are used; Learning rate
and Momentum rate. In which learning rate determine the size of weight adjustment
made at each iteration and hence influence the rate of convergence. While the
momentum rate also improve the rate of convergence by adding some inertial or
momentum to gradient expression. There for exact momentum rate and learning rate
values are determined and the model was trained through iterations. The trained
model is only tested with the input values and the predicted results were close to
experiment results.
Over the years, many methods have been developed to predict the concrete
strength. In recent years, artificial neural networks (ANNs) and Fuzzy Logic have

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been applied to many civil engineering problems with some degree of success. These
tools have been used only to predict the slump and compressive strength properties of
concrete, but practically both the properties of concrete primarily depend on design
stipulations, specifications of available materials and proportions of ingredients
selected for particular mix. Hence, the present work, investigates the application of
Artificial Neural Network to understand the design stipulation, specification of
available materials and according to estimate the correct proportioning of ingredients
of concrete mix to meet the given requirements. An attempt has been made to design
an Artificial Neural Network system to estimate proportions of ingredients of concrete
based on Indian Standard Institute (I.S.I.) method .

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4. APPLICATIONS OF ANN

1. Image Processing and Character recognition: Given ANNs ability to take in a lot
of inputs, process them to infer hidden as well as complex, non-linear relationships,
ANNs are playing a big role in image and character recognition. Character recognition
like handwriting has lot of applications in fraud detection (e.g. bank fraud) and even
national security assessments. Image recognition is an ever-growing field with
widespread applications from facial recognition in social media, cancer detention in
medicine to satellite imagery processing for agricultural and defense usage. The
research on ANN now has paved the way for deep neural networks that forms the basis
of “deep learning” and which has now opened up all the exciting and transformational
innovations in computer vision, speech recognition, natural language processing —
 famous examples being self-driving cars.

2. Forecasting: Forecasting is required extensively in everyday business decisions


(e.g. sales, financial allocation between products, capacity utilization), in economic
and monetary policy, in finance and stock market. More often, forecasting problems
are complex, for example, predicting stock prices is a complex problem with a lot of
underlying factors (some known, some unseen). Traditional forecasting models throw
up limitations in terms of taking into account these complex, non-linear relationships.
ANNs, applied in the right way, can provide robust alternative, given its ability to
model and extract unseen features and relationships. Also, unlike these traditional
models, ANN doesn’t impose any restriction on input and residual distributions.

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5. CASE STUDY-1: (R.S.Kale, S.Y.Kute)
CONSTRUCTION OF FIVE MODULE ARTIFICIAL NEURAL NETWORK
SYSTEM TO DESIGN A CONCRETE MIX

The conceptual frame-work to design an Artificial Neural Network system is


demonstrated as shown in Figure 4. The methodology proposed is as explained below.

ANN 1
Input
Strength
Q-control
Output
ANN 5
Target strength ANN 2
Input
M.S.A Input
Zone of F.A Concrete type
Artificial Durability
Output Backpropagation
C.A content Neural Network Output
[ANN] W.C.R

ANN 4 ANN 3
Input Input
Concrete type M.S.A
Durability CA shape
M.S.A Workability
Output Output
Cement content. Water content

Fig 4. Artificial Neural Network[ISI Method]

Step-1] Input and target data sets:


Total 419 sample data sets were generated based on different methods of
concrete mix design. The laboratory experimental data and Ready Mix Concrete
(RMC) plant data for different concrete mixes were used to train and test the ANN.
For training the neural network 319 sample data sets were used and for testing 100
sample data sets were used. The input parameters are the design stipulations and
material specifications. The output parameters are proportions of concrete ingredients
like cement content, fine aggregate content, coarse aggregate content, and water
content.

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Step-2] Data transformation:
The values holding in each record of input and output data set were transformed
into non-dimensional ratios, based on correlation between input and output variables,
followed by tabular and graphical data, as per guidelines given in the ISI method of
concrete mix design.
Step-3] ANN architecture:
The typical architecture of proposed Artificial Neural Network (ANN) has three
layers; Input Layer , Hidden Layer, and Output Layer. A five Module Back-
Propagation (BP) Algorithm has been proposed in the present study .
Step-4] Learning and training the network:
The main phase in neural network is learning. The programming for adjusting
the weights is called training. The training can be done either by given weights
computed from set of training data or by automatically adjusting the weights.
Learning performance is improved by iteratively updating the weights in the network.
Step-5] Testing and validating the ANN Model:
The testing data set was used to evaluate the confidence in the performance of
the trained network, to predict the ingredients of concrete mix. There is a good
agreement between the results obtained from ANN system and traditional methods of
mix design.

5.1. ARCHITECTURE OF ANN FOR ISI METHOD


In the present study an attempt has been made to design a five module artificial
neural network to design a concrete mix based on ISI method. Each module of ANN
is design with Architecture of ANN which includes input neuron ,hidden neuron
output neuron. Learning rate& momentum rate are set and it is based on the past data.
Weights are connected to establish the perfect relationship between input and output
parameters of the model. After training and testing the ANN, the reliability of ANN
can be checked through the Mean Square Error (MSE). The structure of ANN and the
parameters like momentum rate and learning rate values were determined and the
model was trained through iterations were presented to ANN and as shown in Table1.
The structure of five module of Artificial Neural Network System (ANN) to design a

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concrete mix based on ISI method are elaborated in this section and as shown in
Figure 4.

TABLE 1. ANN Architecture

Mean

Network Architec Learning Momentum No. of No. of square


error(M
ture rate weight connectivit iteration
SE)
y weight

ANN-1 2-1-1 0.05 0.7 91 4500 0.08745

ANN -2A 2-1-1 0.06 0.07634

0.65 110 4700

0.08745

ANN -2B 1-1-1 0.04 0.7 74 5100

0.00973

ANN-3 3-1-1 0.070 0.6 143 6000

0.00926

ANN-4 3-1-1 0.050 0.65 150 6500

ANN-5 2-1-1 0.06 0.7 87 5500 0.07769

ANN-1] To estimate the target strength:


In this step, the target strength is determined, based on two input variable
[neurons] and one output variable [neurons]. The back propagation artificial network
has been constructed and trained for 69 input and output samples data sets. The
detailed ANN structure used is elaborated here :

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TABLE 2. ANN-1

ANN Name ANN-1

ANN type Back propagation

2 [Required Strength of the


No. of inputs Mix, Degree of quality
control]

No. of outputs 1 [Target Strength]

No. of hidden layers 1

Training data set 69 samples

ANN-2A] To estimate the water cement ratio [WCR]:

In this step, the water Cement Ratio is determined, based on two input variables
[neurons] and one output variable [neurons]. The back propagation artificial network
has been constructed and trained for 15 input and output sample data sets. The
detailed ANN structure used is elaborated here :

TABLE 3. ANN-2A

ANN Name ANN-2A

ANN type Back propagation

2[concrete type
No of inputs
,Durability]

No of outputs 1[water cement ratio]

No of hidden layers 1

Training data set 15 samples

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ANN-2B] To estimate the water cement ratio [WCR]:

In this step, the water cement ratio is determined, based on one input variable
[neuron] and one output variable [neurons].The back propagation artificial network
has been constructed and trained for 40 input and output sample.

TABLE 4. ANN-2B

ANN Name ANN-2B

ANN type Back propagation

No of inputs 1[Target strength]

No of outputs 1[water cement ratio]

No of hidden layers 1

Training data set 40 samples

ANN-3] To estimate the water content:


In this step, the water content is determined, based on three input variable
[neurons] and one output variable[neurons]. The back propagation artificial network
has been constructed and trained for 100 input and output sample data sets. The detail
ANN structure.

TABLE 5. ANN-3

ANN Name ANN-3

ANN Type Back propagation

No. of inputs 3[MSA, Shape, Workability]

No. of outputs 1[Water content]

No. of hidden layers 1

Training dataset 100 Samples

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ANN-4] To estimate the cement content:
In this step, the cement content is determined, based on three input variable [neurons]
and one output variable [neurons]. The back propagation artificial network has been
constructed and trained for 75 input and output sample data sets.

TABLE 6. ANN-4

ANN Name ANN-4

ANN Type Back propagation

3[concrete type, Durability


No. of inputs
,MSA]

No. of outputs 1[Cement content]

No. of hidden layers 1

Training data set 75 Samples

ANN-5] To estimate the coarse aggregate content:


In this layer, the coarse aggregate content is determined, based on two input variable
[neurons] and one output variable [neuron]. The back propagation artificial network
has been constructed and trained for 20 input and output sample data set. The detailed
ANN structure used is elaborated here :

TABLE 7. ANN-5

ANN Name ANN-5

ANN type Back propagation

No of inputs 2[MSA, Zone of fine aggregate]

No of outputs 1[Coarse aggregate content]

No of hidden layers 1

Training data set 20 Samples

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5.2 COMPARISON OF PREDICTIONS AND EXPERIMENTAL
RESULTS
To investigate the feasibility of model developed using five module artificial
neural network (ANN), various mixtures were presented to the ANN model. The
comparison of the predictions using the five module artificial neural network (ANN)
developed in this study for design of concrete mix and the results of traditional
method of mix design for M20, M30 and M40 Grade of concrete are shown in Table
8.

TABLE 8. Design mixes calculated for1m3 concrete


M20 M30 M40
Sl no Component ANN ISI ANN ISI ANN ISI

1 Water (kg) 200 190 195 185 190 180

2 Cement(kg) 400 390 410 400 420 410

Total
3 aggregate 1700 1650 1600 1550 1550 1500

Fine
4 aggregate 800 780 575 565 590 484
5 CA 855 870 975 985 1000 1016

The results obtained by the proposed neural network models are compared
with the conventional ISI method for M20, M30 and M40 grade of concrete.
Experimental studies and training results developed by neural network models for
M20, M30 and M40 grade of concrete are compared. Estimation of quantity of water
content, cement content and total aggregate content are as shown in Figure 5, Figure
6, and Figure 7 respectively.

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Fig 5. Water content estimation for different grade of concrete

Figure 5 shows that the estimation of water content for different grades of
concrete M20, M30 and M40 based on neural network model are very closer to the
results of traditional method of mix design (I.S.I.). However, it is observed that, the
differences between ANN and ISI results grow up when grade of mix grows. As
strength of concrete mainly depend on the water cement ratio and mainly water
content, hence it is approved that the strength of mixes increases as the water content
reduces.

Fig 6. Cement content estimation for different grade of concrete

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Figure 6, shows that the estimation of cement content for different grades of
concrete M20, M30 and M40 based on neural network model are very closer to the
results of traditional method of mix design (I.S.I.). However, it is observed that, the
differences between ANN and ISI results grow up when grade of mix grows. Keeping
less water content and increasing the cement content definitely improves the strength
of mixes.

Fig . 7 Total aggregate content estimation for different grade of concrete


Figure 7, shows that the estimation of total aggregate content for different
grades of concrete M20, M30 and M40 based on neural network model are very closer
to the results of traditional method of mix design (I.S.I.). However, it is observed that,
the differences between ANN and ISI results grow up when grade of mix grows.
Aggregate content imparts strength to the concrete and hence improves the strength of
concrete mixes. It is found that the total time of computations of the proposed 5-
moduled ANN is only fractions of minutes. The computation time require by
traditional methods of concrete mix design while solving with the mix design
software and manual calculations are comparatively more when it is compared with
proposed ANN model. Moreover, further theoretical studies should to be conducted
to investigate the relation between direct/indirect properties of concrete with
specifications of materials and to make better concrete mix design.

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6. CONCLUSION
The application of Artificial Neural Network (ANN) systems to the design of
concrete mixture proportioning can help to determine compliance with design codes,
standards and guidelines for acceptable practice and provide information on the
selection of materials and use of proper methods for construction. Artificial Neural
Network (ANN) systems can aid the designer in the selection of proper constituents
for concrete, design for specific environments, provide information from experts in
the concrete mixture proportioning design area, and provide points of reference and
checking to acceptable design practices. The results obtained from Artificial Neural
Network (ANN) system shows good agreements from those obtained from traditional
method of concrete mix design [I.S.I.]. The result predicated by the ANN model is
more reliable as RMS value as shown in Table1 are within the permissible limit. The
advance computing tools like ANN, not only save the computation time of the user
but also gives credible advice to understand the complex problem of concrete mix
design involving large variables.

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7. REFERENCES

1) R.S. Kale, S. Y. Kute(2014), "Five Layers Artificial Neural Network System


[Ann] to Design a Concrete Mix Based on I.S.I. Method", Current Advances in Civil
Engineering,Vol.2(4), pp. 118-125.
2) Rama Shanker, Anil Kumar Sachan(2014), "Concrete Mix Design Using Neural
Network", International Journal of Civil, Architectural, Structural and Construction
Engineering, Vol.8(8), pp. 882-885.
3) Sakshi Gupta(2013), " Concrete Mix Design Using Artificial Neural Network",
Journal on Today’s Ideas -Tomorrow’s Technologies, Vol.1(1), pp. 29-43.
4) M.H. Mohammed, M. Al-Gburi, N. Al-Ansari, J.E.Jonasson, R. Pusch and S.
Knutsson(2012), " Design of Concrete Mixes by Systematic Steps and ANN",
Journal of Advanced Science and Engineering Research, Vol.2(4), pp. 232-251.

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