Discontinuous rock slope stability analysis under blocky structural sliding by fuzzy key-block analysis method

Azarafza M., AKGÜN H., Feizi-Derakhshi M., Azarafza M., Rahnamarad J., Derakhshani R.

HELIYON, vol.6, no.5, 2020 (ESCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 6 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2020.e03907
  • Journal Name: HELIYON
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, CAB Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: Earth sciences, Mathematics, Engineering, Applied mathematics, Geotechnical engineering, Artificial intelligence, Geomechanics, Geological engineering, Rock mechanics, Discontinuous rock slope, Stability analysis, Discontinuity network, Fuzzy logic, Multi-criteria decision-making, Weighted decision functions, DECISION-MAKING METHODS, GENERALIZED THEORY, UNCERTAINTY GTU, IDENTIFICATION, CLASSIFICATION, LOGIC, MODEL
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This study presents a fuzzy logical decision-making algorithm based on block theory to effectively determine discontinuous rock slope reliability under various wedge and planar slip scenarios. The algorithm was developed to provide rapid response operations without the need for extensive quantitative stability evaluations based on the rock slope sustainability ratio. The fuzzy key-block analysis method utilises a weighted rational decision (multi-criteria decision-making) function to prepare the 'degree of reliability (degree of stability-instability contingency)' for slopes as implemented through the Mathematica software package. The central and analyst core of the proposed algorithm is provided as based on discontinuity network geometrical uncertainties and hierarchical decision-making. This algorithm uses block theory principles to proceed to rock block classification, movable blocks and key-block identifications under ambiguous terms which investigates the sustainability ratio with accurate, quick and appropriate decisions especially for novice engineers in the context of discontinuous rock slope stability analysis. The method with very high precision and speed has particular matches with the existing procedures and has the potential to be utilised as a continuous decision-making system for discrete parameters and to minimise the need to apply common practises. In order to justify the algorithm, a number of discontinuous rock mass slopes were considered as examples. In addition, the SWedge, RocPlane softwares and expert assignments (25-member specialist team) were utilised for verification of the applied algorithm which led to a conclusion that the algorithm was successful in providing rational decision-making.