Soft ground micro TBM jack speed and torque prediction using machine learning models through operator data and micro TBM-log data synchronization

Sci Rep. 2024 Apr 27;14(1):9728. doi: 10.1038/s41598-024-60681-8.


Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) are pivotal in underground projects like subways, highways, and water supply tunnels. Predicting and monitoring jack speed and torque is crucial for optimizing TBM excavation efficiency. Conventionally, skilled operators manually adjust numerous tunnelling parameters to regulate the machine's progress. In contrast, machine learning (ML) algorithms offer a promising avenue where computers learn from operator actions to establish parameter relationships autonomously. This study introduces an innovative approach to enhancing operator monitoring and TBM data comprehension. A robust correlation between TBM operator behaviour and TBM logged data is established by leveraging an Optuna-assisted ML methodology-the research light on the intricate dynamics influencing TBM advance rate parameters. Operational data is collected from micro slurry tunnel boring machine (MSTBM) umbrella support excavations. The proposed framework harnesses Optuna, an advanced hyperparameter optimization platform, to dynamically refine jack speed and torque settings. Through meticulous analysis of the interplay between TBM operator decisions and real-time logged data, the AI model discerns patterns, empowering informed decision-making. Using Optuna, a range of models, including random forest (RF), K-nearest neighbours (kNN), decision tree (DT), XGBoost, Support Vector Machine (SVM), and Artificial Neural Network (ANN) were automatically compared and tuned. The best model's (RF) performance is evaluated through a correlation coefficient (R2) of 96%, mean squared error (MSE) of 119.7, and mean absolute error (MAE) of 4.42 for jack speed decision making while 83% of R2, MSE of 0.62, and MAE of 0.42 for the torque decision making. This intelligent model can assist the TBM operator in making decisions about TBM control.

Keywords: Machine learning; Micro slurry TBM; Operational parameters; Optuna; Soft ground tunnelling; TBM jack speed control; TBM torque control.