Prediction of the ultimate bearing capacity of piles (Qu) is one of the basic issues in geotechnical engineering. So far, several methods have been used to estimate Qu, including the recently developed artificial intelligence methods. In recent years, optimization algorithms have been used to minimize artificial network errors, such as colony algorithms, genetic algorithms, imperialist competitive algorithms, and so on. In the present research, artificial neural networks based on colonial competition algorithm (ANN-ICA) were used, and their results were compared with other methods. The results of laboratory tests of short piles in clayey soils with parameters such as pile diameter, pile buried length, eccentricity of load and undrained shear resistance of soil were used for modeling and evaluation. The results showed that ICA-based artificial neural networks predicted lateral bearing capacity of short piles with a correlation coefficient of 0.9865 for training data and 0.975 for test data. Furthermore, the results of the model indicated the superiority of ICA-based artificial neural networks compared to back-propagation artificial neural networks as well as the Broms and Hansen methods.
This paper is going to discuss two issues encountered in using PLAXIS. Both issues were monitored during application of PLAXIS to estimate the excavation-induced displacement. Column Soil Mixing (CSM) was applied to stabilise the excavation. It was understood that the estimated excavation induced deformation at the top of the CSM blocks highly depends on the material type defining pavement material adjacent to the CSM blocks. Cohesive material for pavement will result in the unrealistic connection between pavement and CSM even by defining an interface element. To find the most realistic approach, the interface defined in three different manners (1) no interface elements were applied (2) a non-cohesive soil layer was defined between pavement and CSM block to represent the friction between these materials (3) built-in interface elements in PLAXIS was used to define the boundary between the pavement and the CSM block. The result showed that the option 2 would result in more realistic results. The second issue was in the modelling of the contact line between the CSM block and an inclined layer underneath. The analysis result showed that the excavation-induced deformation highly depends on how the PLAXIS user defines the contact area. It was understood that if the contact area had defined as a point in which CSM block had intersected the layer underneath the estimated lateral displacement of CSM block would be unrealistically lower than the model in which the contact area was defined as a line.