Document Type: Original Research Paper


Department of Earth Sciences Engineering, Arak University of Technology, Arak, Iran


The uniaxial compressive strength of weak rocks (UCSWR) is among the essential parameters involved for the design of underground excavations, surface and underground mines, foundations in/on rock masses, and oil wells as an input factor of some analytical and empirical methods such as RMR and RMI. The direct standard approaches are difficult, expensive, and time-consuming, especially with highly fractured, highly porous, weak, and homogeneous rocks. Numerous endeavors have been made to develop indirect approaches of predicting UCSWR. In this research work, a new intelligence method, namely relevance vector regression (RVR), improved by the cuckoo search (CS) and harmony search (HS) algorithms is introduced to forecast UCSWR. The HS and CS algorithms are combined with RVR to determine the optimal values for the RVR controlling factors. The optimized models (RVR-HS and RVR-CS) are employed to the available data given in the open-source literature. In these models, the bulk density, Brazilian tensile strength test, point load index test, and ultrasonic test are used as the inputs, while UCSWR is the output parameter. The performances of the suggested predictive models are tested according to two performance indices, i.e. mean square error and determination coefficient. The results obtained show that RVR optimized by the HS model can be successfully utilized for estimation of UCSWR with R2 = 0.9903 and MSE = 0.0031203.


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