Comparative Deterministic and Probabilistic Modeling in Geotechnics: Applications to Stabilization of Organic Soils, Determination of Unknown Foundations for Bridge Scour, and One-Dimensional Diffusion Processes
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This study presents different aspects on the use of deterministic methods including Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs), and linear and nonlinear regression, as well as probabilistic methods including Bayesian inference and Monte Carlo methods to develop reliable solutions for challenging problems in geotechnics. This study addresses the theoretical and computational advantages and limitations of these methods in application to: 1) prediction of the stiffness and strength of stabilized organic soils, 2) determination of unknown foundations for bridges vulnerable to scour, and 3) uncertainty quantification for one-dimensional diffusion processes. ANNs were successfully implemented in this study to develop nonlinear models for the mechanical properties of stabilized organic soils. ANN models were able to learn from the training examples and then generalize the trend to make predictions for the stiffness and strength of stabilized organic soils. A stepwise parameter selection and a sensitivity analysis method were implemented to identify the most relevant factors for the prediction of the stiffness and strength. Also, the variations of the stiffness and strength with respect to each factor were investigated. A deterministic and a probabilistic approach were proposed to evaluate the characteristics of unknown foundations of bridges subjected to scour. The proposed methods were successfully implemented and validated by collecting data for bridges in the Bryan District. ANN models were developed and trained using the database of bridges to predict the foundation type and embedment depth. The probabilistic Bayesian approach generated probability distributions for the foundation and soil characteristics and was able to capture the uncertainty in the predictions. The parametric and numerical uncertainties in the one-dimensional diffusion process were evaluated under varying observation conditions. The inverse problem was solved using Bayesian inference formulated by both the analytical and numerical solutions of the ordinary differential equation of diffusion. The numerical uncertainty was evaluated by comparing the mean and standard deviation of the posterior realizations of the process corresponding to the analytical and numerical solutions of the forward problem. It was shown that higher correlation in the structure of the observations increased both parametric and numerical uncertainties, whereas increasing the number of data dramatically decreased the uncertainties in the diffusion process.
SubjectArtificial Neural Network
Yousefpour, Negin (2013). Comparative Deterministic and Probabilistic Modeling in Geotechnics: Applications to Stabilization of Organic Soils, Determination of Unknown Foundations for Bridge Scour, and One-Dimensional Diffusion Processes. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from