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Geomechanics and Engineering
  Volume 18, Number 5, August10 2019 , pages 493-502

Application of a support vector machine for prediction of piping and internal stability of soils
Xinhua Xue

    Internal stability is an important safety issue for levees, embankments, and other earthen structures. Since a large part of the world\'s population lives near oceans, lakes and rivers, floods resulting from breaching of dams can lead to devastating disasters with tremendous loss of life and property, especially in densely populated areas. There are some main factors that affect the internal stability of dams, levees and other earthen structures, such as the erodibility of the soil, the water velocity inside the soil mass and the geometry of the earthen structure, etc. Thus, the mechanism of internal erosion and stability of soils is very complicated and it is vital to investigate the assessment methods of internal stability of soils in embankment dams and their foundations. This paper presents an improved support vector machine (SVM) model to predict the internal stability of soils. The grid search algorithm (GSA) is employed to find the optimal parameters of SVM firstly, and then the cross – validation (CV) method is employed to estimate the classification accuracy of the GSA-SVM model. Two examples of internal stability of soils are presented to validate the predictive capability of the proposed GSA-SVM model. In addition to verify the effectiveness of the proposed GSA-SVM model, the predictions from the proposed GSA-SVM model were compared with those from the traditional back propagation neural network (BPNN) model. The results showed that the proposed GSA-SVM model is a feasible and efficient tool for assessing the internal stability of soils with high accuracy.
Key Words
    internal stability; piping; support vector machine; grid search algorithm; cross-validation
Xinhua Xue: State Key Laboratory of Hydraulics and Mountain River Engineering, College of Water Resource and Hydropower, Sichuan University, No.24 South Section 1, Yihuan Road, Chengdu, 610065, P.R. China

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