Strength of ensemble learning in multiclass classification of rockburst intensity

Junfei Zhang, Yuhang Wang, Yuantian Sun, Guichen Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Rockbust is a violent expulsion of rock due to the extreme release of strain energy stored in surrounding rock mass, leading to considerable damages to underground strucures and equipment, and threatening workers' safety. As the operational depth of engineering projects increases, a larger number of factors influence the mechanism of rockburst. Therefore, accurate classification of rockburst intensity cannot be achieved based on conventional criteria. It is urgent to develop new models with high accuracy and ease to implement in practice. This study proposed an ensemble machine learning method by aggregating seven individual classifiers including back propagation neural network, support vector machine, decision tree, k-nearest neighbours, logistic regression, multiple linear regression and Naïve Bayes. In addition, we proposed nine data imputation methods to replace the missing values in the compiled database including 188 rockburst instances. Five-fold cross validation and the beetle antennae search algorithm are used to tune hyperparameters and voting weights of the individual classifiers. The results show that the rockburst classification accuracy obtained by the classifier ensemble has increased by 15.4% compared with the best individual classifier on the test set. The predictor importance obtained by the classifier ensemble shows that the elastic energy index is the most sensitive input variable for rockburst intensity classification. This robust ensemble method can be extended to solve other classification problems in underground engineering projects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1833-1853
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020


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