Geotechnical and Geological Engineering

, Volume 36, Issue 4, pp 2057–2076 | Cite as

Numerical ANFIS-Based Formulation for Prediction of the Ultimate Axial Load Bearing Capacity of Piles Through CPT Data

  • Behnam Ghorbani
  • Ehsan SadrossadatEmail author
  • Jafar Bolouri Bazaz
  • Parisa Rahimzadeh Oskooei
Original paper


This study explores the potential of adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference systems (ANFIS) for prediction of the ultimate axial load bearing capacity of piles (Pu) using cone penetration test (CPT) data. In this regard, a reliable previously published database composed of 108 datasets was selected to develop ANFIS models. The collected database contains information regarding pile geometry, material, installation, full-scale static pile load test and CPT results for each sample. Reviewing the literature, several common and uncommon variables have been considered for direct or indirect estimation of Pu based on static pile load test, cone penetration test data or other in situ or laboratory testing methods. In present study, the pile shaft and tip area, the average cone tip resistance along the embedded length of the pile, the average cone tip resistance over influence zone and the average sleeve friction along the embedded length of the pile which are obtained from CPT data are considered as independent input variables where the output variable is Pu for the ANFIS model development. Besides, a notable criticism about ANFIS as a prediction tool is that it does not provide practical prediction equations. To tackle this issue, the obtained optimal ANFIS model is represented as a tractable equation which can be used via spread sheet software or hand calculations to provide precise predictions of Pu with the calculated correlation coefficient of 0.96 between predicted and experimental values for all of the data in this study. Considering several criteria, it is represented that the proposed model is able to estimate the output with a high degree of accuracy as compared to those results obtained by some direct CPT-based methods in the literature. Furthermore, in order to assess the capability of the proposed model from geotechnical engineering viewpoints, sensitivity and parametric analyses are done.


Estimation Pile axial load bearing capacity Cone penetration test Adaptive neuro fuzzy inference systems Tractable formulation 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringFerdowsi University of MashhadMashhadIran
  2. 2.Young Researchers and Elite Club, Mashhad BranchIslamic Azad UniversityMashhadIran

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