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In Materials (Basel, Switzerland)

Development of Foamed Concrete (FC) and incessant increases in fabrication technology have paved the way for many promising civil engineering applications. Nevertheless, the design of FC requires a large number of experiments to determine the appropriate Compressive Strength (CS). Employment of machine learning algorithms to take advantage of the existing experiments database has been attempted, but model performance can still be improved. In this study, the performance of an Artificial Neural Network (ANN) was fully analyzed to predict the 28 days CS of FC. Monte Carlo simulations (MCS) were used to statistically analyze the convergence of the modeled results under the effect of random sampling strategies and the network structures selected. Various statistical measures such as Coefficient of Determination (R2), Mean Absolute Error (MAE), and Root Mean Squared Error (RMSE) were used for validation of model performance. The results show that ANN is a highly efficient predictor of the CS of FC, achieving a maximum R2 value of 0.976 on the training part and an R2 of 0.972 on the testing part, using the optimized C-ANN-[3,4,5,1] structure, which compares with previous published studies. In addition, a sensitivity analysis using Partial Dependence Plots (PDP) over 1000 MCS was also performed to interpret the relationship between the input parameters and 28 days CS of FC. Dry density was found as the variable with the highest impact to predict the CS of FC. The results presented could facilitate and enhance the use of C-ANN in other civil engineering-related problems.

Dao Dong Van, Ly Hai-Bang, Vu Huong-Lan Thi, Le Tien-Thinh, Pham Binh Thai


Artificial Neural Network, Compressive Strength, Foamed Concrete, Monte Carlo simulations