Probabilistic analysis of tunnel longitudinal performance based upon conditional random field simulation of soil properties

Wenping Gong, C. Hsein Juang, James R. Martin, Huiming Tang, Qiangqing Wang, Hongwei Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Because of the inherent spatial variability of soil properties and the limited number of boreholes that can be afforded in a typical project, the soil properties at given geotechnical sites could not be known with certainty, which leads to an uncertainty in the predicted performance of a geotechnical system. For such uncertain system, probabilistic analysis is often used to assess its performance considering uncertainty. This paper presents a new framework for the probabilistic analysis of tunnel longitudinal performance. Within this framework, the conditional random field theory is adopted to simulate the spatial variation of soil properties along the tunnel longitudinal direction, in which the soil properties at borehole locations can be explicitly considered. Then, the tunnel longitudinal performance is analyzed with an advanced tunnel performance model, in which the influence of tunnel longitudinal behavior on the circumferential behavior of the tunnel cross section can be explicitly considered. With the aid of Monte Carlo simulation (MCS), tunnel longitudinal performance can readily be analyzed in a probabilistic manner; and, the variation of the tunnel performances (i.e., the structural safety and serviceability of the cross section) along the tunnel longitudinal direction could be assessed. The novelty and significance of this proposed framework, compared to the existing methods, are demonstrated through an illustrative example. Further, the influence of the borehole density (i.e., the number of boreholes per tunnel length) on the prediction of the tunnel longitudinal performance is analyzed through a parametric study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalTunnelling and Underground Space Technology
StatePublished - Mar 2018


  • Longitudinal performance
  • Random field
  • Shield tunnel
  • Site characterization
  • Spatial variation


Dive into the research topics of 'Probabilistic analysis of tunnel longitudinal performance based upon conditional random field simulation of soil properties'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this