Determination of optimum cross-section of earth dams using ant colony optimization algorithm

Document Type: Article

Authors

1 Department of Civil Engineering, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 IIEES, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

 Earth Dams are one of the most important and expensive civil engineering structures to which a considerable amount of budget is allocated. Their construction costs are mainly related to the size of embankments, which in turn depends on their cross section area. Therefore, reductions in cross section areas of earth dams would cause decreases in embankment volumes leading to a significant reduction in the construction cost of these structures. On the other hand, it is almost impossible to obtain optimum cross section in earth dams with desired stability and acceptable operational dimensions using traditional design methods. In this paper, ant colony optimization algorithm (ACO), a well-known and powerful metaheuristic method used to tackle problems in geotechnical engineering, was used to solve this complicated problem. The results showed that applying ideal and optimum slope and berm arrangements resulted from ACO in designing embankments and earth dams with different heights could lead to decreases in embankment volumes compared to those without any berms or those with berms resulting from usual designs with trial and error.

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