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Publications

Publications by Manuel Afonso Parente

2015

Modern optimization in earthwork construction

Authors
Parente, M; Correia, AG; Cortez, P;

Publication
Geotechnical Engineering for Infrastructure and Development - Proceedings of the XVI European Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, ECSMGE 2015

Abstract
Earthworks tasks arc often regarded in transportation projects as some of the most demanding processes. In fact, sequential tasks such as excavation, transportation, spreading and compaction are strongly based on heavy mechanical equipment and repetitive processes, thus becoming as economically demanding as they are time-consuming. Moreover, actual construction requirements originate higher demands for productivity and safety in earthwork constructions. Given the percentual weight of costs and duration of earthworks in infrastructure construction, the optimal usage of every resource in these tasks is paramount. Considering the characteristics of an earthwork construction, it can be looked at as a production line based on resources (mechanical equipment) and dependency relations between sequential tasks, hence being susceptible to optimization. Up to the present, the steady development of Information Technology areas, such as databases, artificial intelligence and operations research, has resulted in the emergence of several technologies with potential application bearing that purpose in mind. Among these, modern optimization methods (also known as metaheuristics), such as evolutionary computation, have the potential to find high quality optimal solutions with a reasonable use of computational resources. In this context, this work describes an optimization algorithm for earthworks equipment allocation based on a modern optimization approach, which takes advantage of the concept that an earthwork construction can be regarded as a production line.

2014

Use of DM techniques in earthworks management: A case study

Authors
Parente, M; Correia, AG; Cortez, P;

Publication
Geotechnical Special Publication

Abstract
In most transportation infrastructure projects, earthworks are generally associated with the highest percentage costs and durations. Because these tasks are reliant on heavy machinery and repetitive tasks, they are strongly susceptible to optimization. This paper presents a study based on the application of artificial neural networks (ANN) on data originated from an actual earthwork construction project. Results show a good adjustment to the data while emphasizing the importance of optimal equipment allocation throughout the construction site. Finally, the architecture of an intelligent earthwork optimization system is presented, combining both data mining (DM) and modern optimization technologies, among others, to support equipment distribution optimization in earthwork projects. © ASCE 2014.

2015

Combining Data Mining and Evolutionary Computation for Multi-Criteria Optimization of Earthworks

Authors
Parente, M; Cortez, P; Correia, AG;

Publication
EVOLUTIONARY MULTI-CRITERION OPTIMIZATION, PT II

Abstract
Earthworks tasks aim at levelling the ground surface at a target construction area and precede any kind of structural construction (e.g., road and railway construction). It is comprised of sequential tasks, such as excavation, transportation, spreading and compaction, and it is strongly based on heavy mechanical equipment and repetitive processes. Under this context, it is essential to optimize the usage of all available resources under two key criteria: the costs and duration of earthwork projects. In this paper, we present an integrated system that uses two artificial intelligence based techniques: data mining and evolutionary multi-objective optimization. The former is used to build data-driven models capable of providing realistic estimates of resource productivity, while the latter is used to optimize resource allocation considering the two main earthwork objectives (duration and cost). Experiments held using real-world data, from a construction site, have shown that the proposed system is competitive when compared with current manual earthwork design.

2015

Earthwork optimization system for sustainable highway construction

Authors
Gomes Correia, A; Parente, M; Cortez, P;

Publication
GEOTECHNICAL SYNERGY IN BUENOS AIRES 2015

Abstract
In highway construction, earthworks refer to the tasks of excavation, transportation, spreading and compaction of geomaterial (e.g. soil, rockfill and soil-rockfill mixture). Whereas relying heavily on machinery and repetitive processes, these tasks are highly susceptible to optimization. In this context Artificial Intelligent techniques, such as Data Mining and modern optimization can be applied for earthworks. A survey of these applications shows that they focus on the optimization of specific objectives and/or construction phases being possible to identify the capabilities and limitations of the analyzed techniques. Thus, according to the pinpointed drawbacks of these techniques, this paper describes a novel intelligent earthwork optimization system, capable of integrating DM, modern optimization and GIS technologies in order to optimize the earthwork processes throughout all phases of design and construction work. This integration system allows significant savings in time, cost and gas emissions contributing for a more sustainable construction.

2014

Artificial Neural Networks Applied to an Earthwork Construction Database

Authors
Parente, M; Correia, AG; Cortez, P;

Publication
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY IN GEO-ENGINEERING

Abstract
This paper presents a study based on the application of cascade ANN prediction models to an earthwork construction database. Results show not only a good adjustment to the data, but also the influence of each earthwork construction process on the work rate of the global production line. Furthermore, the obtained results emphasize the importance of optimal resource allocation and management throughout earthwork construction phases. Following this framework, the study concludes with a demonstration of how the developed models can be integrated into a more complex system in order to pursue that purpose.

2015

An evolutionary multi-objective optimization system for earthworks

Authors
Parente, M; Cortez, P; Gomes Correia, AG;

Publication
EXPERT SYSTEMS WITH APPLICATIONS

Abstract
Earthworks involve the leveling or shaping of a target area through the moving or processing of the ground surface. Most construction projects require earthworks, which are heavily dependent on mechanical equipment (e.g., excavators, trucks and compactors). Often, earthworks are the most costly and time-consuming component of infrastructure constructions (e.g., road, railway and airports) and current pressure for higher productivity and safety highlights the need to optimize earthworks, which is a non-trivial task. Most previous attempts at tackling this problem focus on single-objective optimization of partial processes or aspects of earthworks, overlooking the advantages of a multi-objective and global optimization. This work describes a novel optimization system based on an evolutionary multi-objective approach, capable of globally optimizing several objectives simultaneously and dynamically. The proposed system views an earthwork construction as a production line, where the goal is to optimize resources under two crucial criteria (costs and duration) and focus the evolutionary search (non-dominated sorting genetic algorithm-II) on compaction allocation, using linear programming to distribute the remaining equipment (e.g., excavators). Several experiments were held using real-world data from a Portuguese construction site, showing that the proposed system is quite competitive when compared with current manual earthwork equipment allocation.

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