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Application of fuzzy set theory in the T


r
selection of underground mining a
n
method s
a
by A. Karadogan*, A. Kahriman* and U. Ozer* c
t
i
o
Classical method evaluations generally produce n
a complex situation and take a long period of
Synopsis time. The decision-making process is made
harder by the question of many parameters
Decision making can be defined as the selection process of the best and the uncertain elements of underground P
routes from the alternatives in order to achieve a goal, and mostly mining method selection. New methods for a
involves uncertainty. Additionally, mostly qualitative variables
(weak rock, massive ore deposit, etc.) are in question. Mine
decision making processes have enabled p
planning engineers often use their intuition and experience in
decision-makers to decide more quickly, easily e
decision making. As fuzzy set theory has been used since 1970, and sensitively.
r
these uncertainties are easily evaluated in the decision-making
process. Real world study is decision making under vague Fuzzy set theory
constraints of different importance, involving uncertain data
(qualitative variables), where compromises between antagonistic Fuzzy logic is an appropriate methodology for
criteria are allowed. investigating a number of problems charac-
This paper presents a new approach in the selection of an
terized by unreliable data, imprecise measures,
underground mining method based on fuzzy set theory for the
Ciftalan Lignite Site located close to Istanbul in Turkey. The
ambiguous language and unclear decision
physical parameters such as geology and the geotechnical rules. Over nearly the past three decades,
properties of ore, hanging and foot wall, economic effects, environ- fuzzy logic has been advanced as a formal
mental effects, are established with field and laboratory tests means of handling the implicit imprecision in a
together with the determination of other qualitative variables. wide range of problems, e.g. in industrial
Meanwhile, some qualitative variables dealing with the matter was control, military operations, economics,
described according to the view of a number of experts. Then fuzzy
engineering, medicine, reliability, pattern
set theory is applied to these parameters, considering the available
underground methods in order to choose the proper method. At the
recognition and classification.5,6
end of the evaluations, the room and pillar method with filling was Mine planning engineers often use their
determined as the most suitable method for the test site. intuition and experience in decision making.
Keywords: Decision making, fuzzy set theory, underground, Decision makers, however, may not know how
mining, method selection to deal with quantative variables such as weak
rock or ore with massive dimensions. The
uncertainties in question can be easily
evaluated by applying fuzzy set theory in the
decision making process.7
Introduction A fuzzy set can be described as a value
Available deposits should be evaluated appointment that shows membership degree in
carefully in an optimum manner. In the the fuzzy set to whatever an existence in
process, the selection of the most appropriate pronunciation universe as mathematical.8 The
underground mining method is of great membership degree shows the adaptation
importance from the economic, technique, and degree to the properties that are described by
safety points of view. In the method selection
process, many controllable and uncontrollable
parameters should be taken into account.
Therefore, these parameters must be obtained
with scientific and technical studies for each
ore deposit.1,2
Up to now, research dealing with * Mining Engineering Department, Istanbul
University, Turkey.
underground mining method selection was
The Southern African Institute of Mining and
carried out by many scientists such as Metallurgy, 2008. SA ISSN 0038223X/3.00 +
Boskhov-Wright (1973), Hartman (1987), 0.00. Paper received Oct. 2006; revised paper
Laubscher (1981), Nicholas-Narek (1981).3,4 received Mar. 2007.

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Application of fuzzy set theory in the selection of underground mining method


the fuzzy set of this existence. There is not a exact definition The next step of fuzzy set theory is given in Figure 3. In
between elements of the fuzzy set and outside remaining of this Figure, hot fuzzy set membership degree gains cold
these elements. Thus, a fuzzy set can be described as fuzzy set membership identity at 0.5. The degree of the cold
concepts/objects having uncertain limits between them. fuzzy set membership increases when temperature decreases.
Namely, Fuzzy set theory is interested in fuzziness that According to this, temperature between 0 and 15C is
appears within these uncertain limits. Old people, high qualified as very cold and this part has cold fuzzy set entire
temperature and small numbers can be given as examples of membership. There is a gradual membership of cold fuzzy set
this fuzziness.9 for the temperature between 15C and 25C. It appears that
In classical set theory, an element is either a member of a there is an intersection of cold and hot fuzzy sets for the
set or not. There is no partial membership. This situation can temperature between 20C and 25C. Elements in this part
be explained with an example given in Figure 1. In this can be taken as members of either the hot or the cold fuzzy
example, the temperatures below 30C are not considered as set10.
hot. According to this, even 29.5C is not considered as hot. Although these examples are valid for the non-fuzzy
Therefore, there is no flexibility in this logic. inputs, sometimes inputs can be fuzzy in fuzzy logic. In this
In the real world, these limits are not as sharp as that.10 It situation, fuzzy set membership degree is determined from
is required that events should have a certain flexibility. The the area being covered between fuzzy set and fuzzy input
sharp limits of bilateral variables such as cold-hot, fast-slow, value. This situation is shown in Figure 4 and membership
high-low in classical sets is softened by fuzzy logic with the degree is about 0.3.
application of flexible characterizations such as little cold-
little hot, little high-little low. Figure 2 shows fuzzy set Fuzzy multiple attribute decision-making
theory that gives the value of variables such as temperature
close to the value observed in the real world. According to Decision-making is explained as a selection process of the
this, the membership degree of the hot fuzzy set is revealed best alternative from alternative sets in order to reach an aim
for the temperature values between 20C and 40C. The or aims. There are many methods of decision-making. The
membership degree decreases gradually from 1 at 30C to 0 focus of this paper is on Yager's method, which is one of the
at 20C. According to Figure 2, little-hot state will appear as methods of fuzzy multiple attribute decision-making. This
the temperature decreases. For example, 25C temperature is method is also based on the Analytical Hierarchy Process
qualified as little hot while 30C temperature is qualified as (AHP).11
very hot and 20C temperature is not qualified as hot. AHP, developed by Thomas Saaty (1988), has been used
Therefore, 20C temperature is not an element of the hot successfully in practice for the solutions of the various
fuzzy set.10 problems related to decision-making and planning. This
technique has also been used to solve the problems of

Figure 3Being covered in fuzzy set


Figure 1Classical set theory

Figure 2Fuzzy set theory Figure 4Membership degree of the fuzzy input values

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Application of fuzzy set theory in the selection of underground mining method


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decision-makers in different areas such as politics, defence, Table I r
town planning, communication and psychology. AHP is
Judgement scale determined by decision-maker a
based on the fact that problems can be solved more
effectively by dividing the problems into plausible and
Numerical scale Meanings n
smaller sub-parts. This process is formed by the following
1 Equally important s
3 Weakly more important
stages.12 a
5 Strongly more important
Clear description of the problem 7 Demonstrably more important
c
The determination of sub-aims t
9 Absolutely more important
The determination of the factors affecting sub aims
Analysis of the model results according to alternatives.
2, 4, 6 , 8 Compromise judgements i
The development by Saaty of a mathematical analysis of
o
pairwise comparisons of user responses has continued to n
exert a profound influence on computer applications designed procedure for obtaining a ratio scale for the elements
to enhance interactive human cognition. Saaty discovered compared14. To assess the importance the decision-maker
that if users are asked to measure the contribution of one or (w) is asked to judge the criteria in pairwise comparisons and P
more decision elements to two or more potential decisions, the values assigned are wij = 1/wij. Where i is the column
and if the decision element evaluations are entered pairwise number and j is the line number in m x m matrix. Having
a
in a two-dimensional matrix as they are obtained from the obtained the judgements, the m x m matrix B is constructed p
user, then the response matrix can be solved for its principal so that: (a) bii = 1; (b) bij = wij; (c) bji = bij14. To sum up, e
eigenvalue and for the eigenvector containing this principal Yager suggests that the resulting eigenvector should be used r
eigenvalue. These mathematical solutions yield direct to express the decision-makers empirical estimate of
estimates of data consistency within the response matrix, and importance. The reciprocal matrix in which the values are
a normalized estimate of the contribution of each decision given by the decision-maker for each criteria in the decision
element to each potential decision. The use of the eigenvector and criteria 1 and 2, respectively C1 and C2, are three times
method also preserves the ordinal rank of each of the as important as G, and the pairwise comparison reciprocal
decision elements when data within the response matrix are matrix is:
incomplete or inconsistent, a situation often encountered
during the selection evaluation of a system6.
The practical effect of such matrix cognition during the
selection evaluation is to record the users choices of
potential decisions for consideration, the users choices of
decision elements for analysis, and the users choices of
consultants for participation in the analysis. Each consultant
is then asked to estimate the quantitative contribution of
each decision element to each potential decision, and this Hence, the eigenvalues of the reciprocal matrix are =
estimate is then weighted by the calculated eigenvector [0, 3, 0] and therefore max = 3. All values except one are
obtained by solving the response matrix of each consultant. zero (as stated in Saaty14). The weights of the criteria are
Each consultants quantitative scaling of each potential finally achieved in the eigenvector of the matrix,
decision is then calculated, ranked in order, and combined
with the results of the other consultants to yield a consensus
best decision and ranking of alternative decisions6.
Formally, let A = A1, A2, ., An be the set of [4]
alternatives, C = C1, C2,.,Cm be the set of criteria, which
can be given as fuzzy sets in the space of alternatives, and G
the goal, which can also be given by a fuzzy set. Firstly, the The eigenvector corresponds to the weights to be
membership degrees of alternatives for each criterion are associated with the memberships of each
determined by expert views. attribute/feature/goal. Thus, the exponential weighting is
1=1/3, 2=2/3, 3=2/3 and the final decision (membership
Consider a simple example:
decision function) about the site location is given as follows:
G = [0.5/A1, 0.8/A2, 0.3/A3] [1]
D(A) = D(A) = min G(X), C1(X),
C1 = [0.7/A1, 0.9/A2, 0.5/A3] [2] [5]
C2(X),,CM(X)
C2 = [0.4/A1, 0.2/A2, 0.9/A3] [3]
There are some cases where the importance of criteria is
For the criterion weights to be determined, we used the not equally alike and weighting coefficients are required. The
judgement scale (Table I) determined by decision-maker. decision function with the relative importance of criteria,
Yager suggests the use of Saatys method for pairwise omitting the membership signal for simplification, is13:
comparison of the criteria (attributes). A pairwise comparison
of attributes (criteria) could improve and facilitate the [6]
assessment of criteria importance. Saaty developed a

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Thus, the fuzzy decision function in the example is proportion of the land above the coal seam was owned by the
D(A) = minG1/3, C12/3, C22/3 [7] company (approximately 2 217 000 m2). However, the rest of
the area was owned by the village people and village common
G = [0.5/A1, 0.8/A2, 0.3/A3]0.229 = [0.85/A1, 0.95/A2,
public property (approximately 172 000 m2). The company
0.76/A3]
could not extract the coal by open pit mining because of the
C1= [0.7/A1, 0.9/A2, 0.5/A3]0.688 = [0.78/A1, 0.93/A2,
fact that the village refused to sell these properties to the
0.62/A3]
company. This situation still continues. This leaves the
C2= [0.4/A1, 0.2/A2, 0.9/A3]0.688 = [0.53/A1, 0.33/A2,
company with no option but underground mining. However,
0.93/A3
The Kutman Company did not have any plans to extract the
D(A) = 0.53/A1, 0.33/A2, 0.62/A3 [8] coal by underground mining. The goal of this study is to
and the optimal solution, corresponding to the maximum select the most suitable underground mining method for this
membership 0.62, is A3 (D(A*) site with a new approach by applying fuzzy set theory.
D(A) = 0.62/A3). [9] In accordance with the main objective of this study, the
needed physical parameters such as geologic and
Case study geotechnical properties of ore, hanging- and footwall,
economic effects, environmental effects, which are
This study is based on the optimum underground mining
method selection for the iftalan lignite site located 35 km. established by field and laboratory tests, together with
north of Istanbul, Turkey. The location of the test site is uncertain variables, were determined. Meanwhile some
shown in Figure 5. uncertain variables dealing with the matter were described
Although all open pit mines operated at the sites according to the view of some experts. The generated
surrounding the iftalan lignite site had stopped their lignite parameters, which are needed for the method selection, are
production, the iftalan lignite site had stayed untouched and given briefly in Table II, together with related criterion.
no coal has ever been produced at this site. It was understood The optimum method was selected from among the
that the company had planned to extract the coal by open pit methods listed in Table III. These methods were defined as
mining despite the fact that the profitable coal seam lies more applicable methods for these conditions at the end of
under the iftalan village at a depth of 55 m. A major the preliminary election considering the expert comments.

Figure 5Location of the iftalan lignite site in Turkey


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Table II r
Technical parameters determined as selection criterion a
Criterion Description n
Geometric shape of the lignite deposit Plate state (layered) s
Thickness of the lignite seam 2.3 m (average)
a
Seam inclination 5 (average)
Excavation dept 55 m (average)
c
Soundness degree of the lignite Low strength (compressive strength: 41 MPa) t
Contact state of the lignite seam-hanging and footwall Not clear i
Soundness degree of the hangingwall Hangingwall is marl-clay-sand. Low strength (compressive strength: 28 MPa) o
Soundness degree of the footwall Footwall is clay. Low strength (shear strength: 2.2 kg/cm2 )
n
Subsidence effect Seam is near to the surface (55 m) and hangingwall is low strength (compressive strength:
28 MPa). Therefore, there is a subsidence risk
Support necessity However, hangingwall and footwall became low strength, support is necessary
Nearness of the settlement areas There is a iftalan village over the lignite seam (55 m) P
Burning property of the lignite The lignite has burning property by itself and burning property is high. a
Hydraulic conditions There is the Black Sea at the north of lignite site (about 500 m) and there is a water problem.
p
Because elevation of the seam is about -10
e
r
Some of the qualitative results were produced from varied According to seam inclination, A5 is appropriate.
solution methods such as linear programming, expert According to the soundness degree of the hangingwall,
systems, expert views, etc. Each alternative (method) has A5 is more appropriate than other methods.
shown its advantages. In this case, it did not appear that an From the viewpoint of appropriateness, hydraulic
easy solution to the problem will be obtained. From the condition, A1 is the best method.
solution point of view, application of the fuzzy set theory The selection criteria are presented in Table IV and the
would be a proper choice and, therefore, used in this paper. optimum underground mining method selection procedure is
It was given some of the analysis that was determined by given below.
experts below: Let A = A1, A2, A3, A4, A5 be the set of alternative
According to dimension, A3 is the best method. systems and C = C1, C2, C3, , C18 be the set of criteria.
Seam thickness averages 2.3 m. Therefore, A3 is the The decision-maker is then asked to define the membership
best method. degree of each criterion that is conferred with experts on this
subject. Following that procedure the membership degree of
each criterion is given below in detail:
Table III C1 = 0.80/A1, 0.75/A2, 0.95/A3, 0.90/A4, 0.85/A5
Alternative underground mining methods C2 = 0.75/A1, 0.80/A2, 0.88/A3, 0.85/A4, 0.82/A5
A1 Longwall methods with filling (direction of inclination rising) C3 = 0.70/A1, 0.65/A2, 0.87/A3, 0.85/A4, 0.92/A5
A2 Longwall methods with filling (direction of inclination C4 = 0.70/A1, 0.75/A2, 0.90/A3, 0.80/A4, 0.65/A5
decline) C5 = 0.55/A1, 0.60/A2, 0.70/A3, 0.75/A4, 0.85/A5
A3 Longwall method with filling (progressed) C6 = 0.50/A1, 0.55/A2, 0.65/A3, 0.75/A4, 0.85/A5
A4 Longwall method with filling (returned)
C7 = 0.70/A1, 0.65/A2, 0.85/A3, 0.75/A4, 0.90/A5
A5 room and pillar method with filling
C8 = 0.40/A1, 0.50/A2, 0.70/A3, 0.80/A4, 1.00/A5
C9 = 0.65/A1, 0.75/A2, 0.85/A3, 0.60/A4, 0.95/A5

Table IV
Parameters taken into consideration for underground mining method selection
Criterion Selection parameters Criterion Selection parameters
C1 Geometric shape of the lignite deposit C10 Support necessity
C2 Thickness of the lignite seam C11 Nearness of the settlement areas
C3 Seam inclination C12 Burning property of the lignite
C4 Excavation dept C13 Methane existence
C5 Soundness degree of the lignite C14 Hydraulic conditions
C6 Contact state of the lignite seam-hanging and footwall C15 Mining cost
C7 Soundness degree of the hangingwall C16 Capital cost
C8 Soundness degree of the footwall C17 Production ratio
C9 Subsidence effect C18 Labour cost

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C10 = 0.60/A1, 0.55/A2, 0.85/A3, 0.65/A4, 0.80/A5 = 0.83/A1, 0.79/A2, 0.93/A3, 0.92/A4, 0.96/A5
C11 = 0.80/A1, 0.75/A2, 0.90/A3, 0.65/A4, 0.95/A5 C4 = 0.70/A1, 0.75/A2, 0.90/A3, 0.80/A4, 0.65/A50.1637
C12 = 0.78/A1, 0.70/A2, 0.90/A3, 0.75/A4, 0.65/A5 = 0.94/A1, 0.95/A2, 0.98/A3, 0.96/A4, 0.93/A5
C13 = 0.50/A1, 0.72/A2, 0.80/A3, 0.60/A4, 0.85/A5 C5 = 0.55/A1, 0.60/A2, 0.70/A3, 0.65/A4, 0.85/A50.3069
C14 = 0.85/A1, 0.45/A2, 0.75/A3, 0.60/A4, 0.50/A5 = 0.83/A1, 0.85/A2, 0.89/A3, 0.87/A4, 0.95/A5
C15 = 0.60/A1, 0.55/A2, 0.80/A3, 0.70/A4, 0.95/A5 C6 = 0.50/A1, 0.55/A2, 0.65/A3, 0.75/A4, 0.85/A50.1298
C16 = 0.60/A1, 0.55/A2, 0.80/A3, 0.65/A4, 0.90/A5 = 0.91/A1, 0.92/A2, 0.94/A3, 0.97/A4, 0.98/A5
C17 = 0.75/A1, 0.70/A2, 0.82/A3, 0.80/A4, 0.90/A5 C7 = 0.70/A1, 0.65/A2, 0.85/A3, 0.75/A4, 0.90/A50.2990
C18 = 0.65/A1, 0.70/A2, 0.80/A3, 0.75/A4, 0.60/A5 = 0.90/A1, 0.88/A2, 0.95/A3, 0.92/A4, 0.97/A5
C8 = 0.40/A1, 0.50/A2, 0.70/A3, 0.80/A4, 1.00/A50.2320
Additionally, the m x m matrix (Figure 6) was
= 0.81/A1, 0.85/A2, 0.92/A3, 0.97/A4, 1.00/A5
constructed to express the decision-makers empirical
C9 = 0.65/A1, 0.75/A2, 0.85/A3, 0.60/A4, 0.95/A50.0782
estimate of importance for each criterion. Then, the maximum
= 0.97/A1, 0.98/A2, 0.99/A3, 0.96/A4, 1.00/A5
eigenvector was obtained using Matlab.15 The judgement
C10 = 0.60/A1, 0.55/A2, 0.85/A3, 0.65/A4, 0.80/A50.0450
scale used here is: 1 equally important; 3 weakly more
= 0.97/A1, 0.97/A2, 0.99/A3, 0.98/A4, 0.99/A5
important; 5 strongly more important; 7 demonstrably more C11 = 0.80/A1, 0.75/A2, 0.90/A3, 0.65/A4, 0.95/A50.0430
important, 9 absolutely more important. = 0.99/A1, 0.99/A2, 0.99/A3, 0.98/A4, 1.00/A5
It turns out that the maximum eigenvalue of the C12 = 0.78/A1, 0.70/A2, 0.90/A3, 0.75/A4, 0.65/A50.0777
reciprocal matrix is = 21.3488. The weights of the criteria = 0.98/A1, 0.97/A2, 0.99/A3, 0.98/A4, 0.97/A5
are finally obtained in the eigenvector of the matrix. C13 = 0.50/A1, 0.72/A2, 0.80/A3, 0.60/A4, 0.85/A50.0313
Eigenvector = {0.3543, 0.4855, 0.5369, 0.1637, 0.3069, = 0.98/A1, 0.99/A2, 0.99/A3, 0.98/A4, 1.00/A5
0.1298, 0.2990, 0.2320, 0.0782, 0.0450, 0.0430, 0.0777, C14 = 0.85/A1, 0.45/A2, 0.75/A3, 0.60/A4, 0.50/A50.0288
0.0313, 0.0288, 0.1564, 0.1600, 0.0353, 0.0197} max = 1.00/A1, 0.98/A2, 0.99/A3, 0.99/A4, 0.98/A5
The eigenvector corresponds to the weights to be associated C15 = 0.60/A1, 0.55/A2, 0.80/A3, 0.70/A4, 0.95/A50.1564
with the memberships of each attribute/feature/goal. Thus, = 0.92/A1, 0.91/A2, 0.97/A3, 0.95/A4, 0.99/A5
the exponential weighting is 1 = 0.3543, 2 = 0.4855, 3 = C16 = 0.60/A1, 0.55/A2, 0.80/A3, 0.65/A4, 0.90/A50.1600
0.5369, 4 = 0.1637, 5 = 0.3069, 6 = 0.1298, 7 = 0.2990, = 0.92/A1, 0.91/A2, 0.96/A3, 0.93/A4, 0.98/A5
8 = 0.2320, 9 = 0.0782, 10 = 0.0450, 11 = 0.0430, 12 = C17 = 0.75/A1, 0.70/A2, 0.82/A3, 0.80/A4, 0.90/A50.0353
0.0777, 13 = 0.0313, 14 = 0.0288, 15 = 0.1564, 16 = = 0.99/A1, 0.99/A2, 0.99/A3, 0.99/A4, 1.00/A5
0.1600, 17 = 0.0353, 18 = 0.0197 and the final decision is C18 = 0.65/A1, 0.70/A2, 0.80/A3, 0.75/A4, 0.60/A50.0197
obtained as follows: = 0.99/A1, 0.99/A2, 1.00/A3, 0.99/A4, 0.99/A5
C1 = 0.80/A1, 0.75/A2, 0.95/A3, 0.90/A4, 0.85/A50.3543 D(A) = min0.81/A1, 0.79/A2, 0.89/A3,
= 0.92/A1, 0.90/A2, 0.98/A3, 0.96/A4, 0.94/A5 0.87/A4,0.92/A5
C2 = 0.75/A1, 0.80/A2, 0.88/A3, 0.82/A4, 0.85/A50.4855 and the optimal solution, corresponding to the maximum
= 0.87/A1, 0.90/A2, 0.94/A3, 0.91/A4, 0.92/A5 membership 0.92, is A5 (D(A*)
C3 = 0.70/A1, 0.65/A2, 0.87/A3, 0.85/A4, 0.92/A50.5369 D(A*) = 0.92/A5

Figure 6Criteria comparison matrix


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At the end of the evaluations, the room and pillar method References r
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The Journal of The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy VOLUME 108 REFEREED PAPER FEBRUARY 2008 79