A probabilistic framework to perform inverse analysis of geotechnical problems is presented. The formulation
allows the incorporation of existing prior information on the parameters in a consistent way. The
method is based on the maximum likelihood approach that allows a straightforward introduction of the
error structure of field measurements and prior information. The difficulty of ascribing definite values to the
uncertainties associated with the various types of observations is overcome by including the corresponding
variances in the set of parameters to be identified. The inverse analysis results in a minimization problem
that is solved by coupling the optimization technique to the finite element method. Two examples are
presented to illustrate the performance of the method. The first one corresponds to a synthetic case
simulating the excavation of a tunnel. Young’s modulus, KO value and measurements variances are
identified. The second case concerns the excavation of a large underground cavern in which again Young’s
modulus and KO are identified. It is shown that introduction of prior information permits the estimation of
parameters more consistent with all available informations that include not only monitored displacements
but also results from in situ tests carried out during the site investigation stage.
CitationLedesma, A.; Gens, A.; Alonso, E.E. Parameter and variance estimation in geotechnical backanalysis using prior information. International Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics (1996, vol. 20, no. 6, pp. 119-141).
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