Volume 44, N. 4

October-December 2021

A multiple model machine learning approach for soil classification from cone penetration test data


Volume 44, N. 4, October-December 2021 | PDF (48 downloads)


The most popular methods for soil classification from cone penetration test (CPT) data are based on examining two-dimensional charts. In the last years, several authors have dedicated efforts on replicating and discussing these methods using machine learning techniques. Nonetheless, most of them apply few techniques, include only one dataset and do not explore more than three input features. This work circumvents these issues by: (i) comparing five different machine learning techniques, which are also combined in an ensemble; (ii) using three distinct CPT datasets, one composed of 111 soundings from different countries, one composed of 38 soundings with information of soil age and the third composed of 64 soundings taken from the city of São Paulo, Brazil; and (iii) testing combinations of five input features. Results show that, in most cases, the ensemble of multiple models achieves better predictive performance than any technique isolated. Accuracies close to the maximum were obtained in some cases without the need of pore pressure information, which is costly to measure in geotechnical practice.

Keywords: Robertson, Charts, Tropical soil, Pore, Pressure, Budget constraints,

Submitted on May 26, 2021.
Final Acceptance on August 24, 2021.
Discussion open until February 28, 2022.
DOI: 10.28927/SR.2021.072121