Predicting penetration rate of hard rock tunnel boring machine using fuzzy logic

Ebrahim Ghasemi, Saffet Yagiz, Mohammad Ataei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Predicting the penetration rate of a tunnel boring machine (TBM) plays an important role in the economic and time planning of tunneling projects. In the past years, various empirical methods have been developed for the prediction of TBM penetration rates using traditional statistical analysis techniques. Soft computing techniques are now being used as an alternative statistical tool. In this study, a fuzzy logic model was developed to predict the penetration rate based on collected data from one hard rock TBM tunnel (the Queens Water Tunnel # 3, Stage 2) in New York City, USA. The model predicts the penetration rate of the TBM using rock properties such as uniaxial compressive strength, rock brittleness, distance between planes of weakness and the orientation of discontinuities in the rock mass. The results indicated that the fuzzy model can be used as a reliable predictor of TBM penetration rate for the studied tunneling project. The determination coefficient (R2), the variance account for and the root mean square error indices of the proposed fuzzy model are 0.8930, 89.06 and 0.13, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-35
Number of pages13
JournalBulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Fuzzy logic
  • Rate of penetration (ROP)
  • Rock properties
  • Tunnel boring machine (TBM)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geology

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