A decision support system for ground improvement method selection
Ground improvement has become such a common construction practice that the
foundation for any important structure that is constructed today is likely to have met
some form of ground improvement technology. The improvement option is usually
adopted whenever poor quality soils underlie the site proposed for the location of a new
facility or for remedial works on existing structures.
Numerous improvement techniques are known. When faced with the problem to find an
appropriate ground improvement methodology, decision-makers often have to consider
a wide variety of factors. The selection of the most suitable method for the solution of
the problem has itself become a problem based on the number of factors to consider, the
numerous uncertainties associated with the ground conditions and the possibility that for
a particular problematic ground condition, more than one method can be used to solve
the problem. In order that the ground improvement consultant conducts his or her work
with a high level of confidence it is thought that an independent view from a reliable
assistant may be worth while.
A prototype decision support tool, GrIMSA, (Ground Improvement Method Selection
Assistant) has been developed to assist the geotechnical engineer during the preliminary
stages when considering the use of ground improvement technology. The tool
implements a rational systematic technique for selecting the most appropriate and costeffective
ground improvement method for a construction site. The technique is based on
a consensus of standards in the ground improvement domain and is designed to be
practical, flexible and transparent. The sources of knowledge upon which the system is
based is mainly from practicing ground improvement domain experts in various parts
of the world and published technical literature on ground improvement projects.
GrIMSA suggests a limited number of appropriate ground improvement methods from
32 possible methods that could be used in solving the foundation problem. The final
decision on the method to use however is left for the user to make by applying his or her
personal engineering judgement based on site specific conditions.
GrIMSA is aimed at experienced geotechnical engineering consultants and contractors.
The system has been developed using the wxCLIPS software.