Exploration and decision-making in geotechnical engineering–a case study

Rita Sousa, Karim S. Karam, Ana Laura Costa, Herbert H. Einstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The paper presents methodologies for exploration planning under uncertain conditions based on virtual exploration and Bayesian updating. The process starts with site characterization using existing information to produce geologic profiles. Initial distributions of cost and time are obtained with a Bayesian network model that optimizes the construction strategy for particular geologic conditions. This is followed by the unique step to determine with a “virtual exploration” if additional exploration (e.g. borings) is warranted, and if so, where it should be best done. All this is then applied to the planned Abu Dhabi subway tunnels providing the transportation planners with necessary information for planning and design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-145
Number of pages17
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2017


  • decision analysis
  • expected value of information
  • Tunnel exploration planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geology


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