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INTRODUCTION

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

1

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.

2

2. LITERATURE REVIEW

[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

3

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.

4

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 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.

5

Fig 2. ANN Architecture

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)

6

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)

generator

( Desired output)

Fig 3 . Supervised learning

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

7

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 .

8

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.

(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.

9

5. CASE STUDY-1: (R.S.Kale, S.Y.Kute)

CONSTRUCTION OF FIVE MODULE ARTIFICIAL NEURAL NETWORK

SYSTEM TO DESIGN A CONCRETE MIX

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

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.

10

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.

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

11

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

Figure 4.

Mean

error(M

ture rate weight connectivit iteration

SE)

y weight

0.08745

0.00973

0.00926

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 :

12

TABLE 2. ANN-1

No. of inputs Mix, Degree of quality

control]

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

2[concrete type

No of inputs

,Durability]

No of hidden layers 1

13

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

No of hidden layers 1

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

14

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

No. of inputs

,MSA]

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

No of hidden layers 1

15

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.

M20 M30 M40

Sl no Component ANN ISI ANN ISI ANN ISI

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.

16

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.

17

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.

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.

18

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.

19

7. REFERENCES

[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.

20

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