Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

A new rock slicing algorithm based on linear programming

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Stefano Utili



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


One of the important pre-processing stages in the analysis of jointed rock masses is the identification ofrock blocks from discontinuities in the field. In 3D, the identification of polyhedral blocks usually involvetedious housekeeping algorithms, because one needs to establish their vertices, edges and faces, togetherwith a hierarchical data structure: edges by pairs of vertices, faces by bounding edges, polyhedron bybounding faces.In this paper, we present a novel rock slicing method, based on the subdivision approach and linearprogramming optimisation, which requires only a single level of data structure rather than the current2 or 3 levels presented in the literature. This method exploits the novel mathematical framework for contactdetection introduced in Boon et al. (2012). In the proposed method, it is not necessary to calculate theintersections between a discontinuity and the block faces, because information on the block vertices andedges is not needed. The use of a simpler data structure presents obvious advantages in terms of codedevelopment, robustness and ease of maintenance. Non-persistent joints are also introduced in a novelway within the framework of linear programming. Advantages and disadvantages of the proposedmodelling of non-persistent joints are discussed in this paper. Concave blocks are generated usingestablished methods in the sequential subdivision approach, i.e. through fictitious joints.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Boon CW, Houlsby GT, Utili S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Computers and geotechnics

Year: 2015

Volume: 65

Pages: 12–29

Print publication date: 01/04/2015

Online publication date: 12/12/2014

Acceptance date: 13/11/2014

Date deposited: 31/08/2017

ISSN (print): 0266-352X

ISSN (electronic): 1873-7633

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.compgeo.2014.11.007


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Funder referenceFunder name