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7th BALKANMINE CONGRESS – Proceedings, Prijedor 2017

DOI: 10.7251/BMC170702123J



Ivana JOVANOVIĆ1, Jasmina NEŠKOVIĆ2, Slađana KRSTIĆ3, Milenko LJUBOJEV3,

Mining and Metallurgy Institute Bor, Zelenibulevar 35, 19210 Bor, Serbia; e-mail:
Mining Institute, Batajnički put 2, 11080 Zemun, Belgrade, Serbia;
Mining and Metall. Institute Bor, Zelenibulevar 35, 19210 Bor, Serbia; e-mail:,


This paper presents the results of the development and validation of predictive model, based on
ANFIS hybrid system. The model predicts values of copper recovery in flotation concentrate from the
flotation plant "VelikiKrivelj". The copper content in the feed ore, collector consumption in the rough
flotation stage and consumption of frother, were selected as independent variables. Other technical and
technological parameters, relevant for the process of flotation concentration were considered constant.
The results of the model validation showed that the model provides moderate predictions of changes in
the copper recovery.

Key words: model, flotation, copper, recovery, ANFIS


Modeling of flotation processes is not a simple task, mainly thanks to the complexity of the
process.Namely, a large number of variablesthat exist in flotation system affect the final
outcome of mineral grains separation according to differences in theirsurfaceproperties.
In general, flotation models can be divided into two large groups. These are: (1) models based
on standard mathematical equations and (2) models based on soft computing methods [1].
Although attempts to model flotation processes with classical mathematical equations are
numerous – with significant variations in approaches – previous research in this field has not
given satisfactory results. The nature of the process, based on the interaction of solid, liquid
and gaseous phases, makes the application of classical equations very difficult. According to
some researchers, each individual model is limited to precisely defined process conditions.
Furthermore, the different degree of complexity of existing models affects that the accuracy
and precision of modeling results differ from one another, even when the models are formed
on the basis of the same experimental data.By introducing more parameters into the model,
the accuracy of the results increases, but the significance of each parameter decreases [2].

7th BALKANMINE CONGRESS – Proceedings, Prijedor 2017

Bearing in mind the current situation regarding the classic modeling of the flotation processes,
it is necessary to consider the possibilities of innovative approaches in this field, which are
offered by the methods of soft computing.
One of soft computing methods, used in the modeling of various flotation phenomena is
hybrid adaptive neuro fuzzy inference system (ANFIS). The architecture of this system
integrate the principles of fuzzy logic and artificial neural networks [3].The elementary idea
of the ANFIS algorithm is to construct fuzzy inference system on the basis of known
input/output data sets, where the parameters of membership functions are adjusted using the
backpropagation algorithm only, or in combination with the least squares method (hybrid
algorithm).Adjustmentsenablethe fuzzy system to learn on the basis of input/output data
sets.Possibilities of ANFIS application in modeling and control of different flotation
subsystems are described by several researchers [4-7].


Experimental studies were carried out in virtual conditions, using MATLAB programming
language. The validation of the proposed model was performed in Microsoft Excel. The
independent variables were: the copper content in the feed ore (FCU), collector consumption
in the rough flotation stage (PXR)and consumption of frother (FRT), while the dependent
variable was the recovery of copper in final concentrate (RCU). Model development and
testing wasbased on the real process data, collected from the flotation plant "VelikiKrivelj"
during the multi-annual monitoring.
The development of a given hybrid model is performed using the ANFIS Editor GUI,within
the framework of Fuzzy Logic Toolbox software module, which applies the methodology of
neural networks in order to generate, train and test Takagi-Sugenofuzzy inference system.
During the optimization of elementary conditions of process modeling, the following two
criteria were taken into consideration:(1) resulting surfacesshould describe the real process in
the best manner, and (2) the root mean square error of training should be minimal. In this
regard, expert analysis showed that the best results were achieved in the following conditions:
- Bell membership functions were proven to be optimal for fuzzificationof input variables
(other membership functions gave recoveries higher then 1, as, in this case, recovery is
expressed in parts of 1), while the linear functionsdescribedthe output better thenthe
- Backpropagation algorithm was chosen as learning algorithm. Number of epochs was

For neural network training, every second series of values of variables FCU, PXR, FRT and
RCU (corresponds to the data of one shift) is chosen from the data base – "even cases".Figure
1 shows the training data entered in the ANFIS Editor and training error trend, while Figure 2
shows the basic structure of the generated fuzzy inference system, as well as the membership
function for FCU variable.

7th BALKANMINE CONGRESS – Proceedings, Prijedor 2017

Figure 1. Entering of training data and training error.

Figure 2. Structure of generated fuzzy inference system and membership function for FCU variable.

Structure ofgenerated neural network is [3-9-27-1] (see Figure 3(left)). Number of nodes in
the first hidden layer corresponds to the number of membership functions belonging to each
input variable (total of 9), while the number of nodes in the second hidden layer corresponds
to the number of fuzzy rules (total of 27), where the consequence of each rule is a linear
function with different coefficients.
Figure 3 (right) shows one of the resulting surfaces generated by ANFIS.

Figure 3. Structure of neural network and dependence of the copper recovery in final concentrate on the collector
consumption and copper content in feed ore

7th BALKANMINE CONGRESS – Proceedings, Prijedor 2017

As it can be seen from the Figure 3, presented surface does not describe real dependences in
flotation process in the best way. In the observed range of values, with an increase of the
amount of collector, copper recovery in concentrate should be constantly increased. In this
case, resulting surface has a "wavy" shape.


Evaluation of the model was performed in the software package MATLAB– by entering the
real values of the process input variables from industrial flotation plant "VelikiKrivelj" and
generating corresponding outputs predicted by model. The evaluation of model was made by
forming a matrix of three independent variables and generating the column matrix for output
variable, using the module Fuzzy Logic Toolbox.
With the aim of determining the possibility of the model to reliably predict the recovery of
copper in final concentrate on the basis of the given input parameters, regression analysis is
performed in Microsoft Excel. By the regression analysis, the correlation between the actual
process values of copper recoveryand the values predictedby model is established.
Table 1, 2 and 3 show the results of the regression analysis for the formedmodel, while the
Figure 4 shows the error of predicting the copper recovery in final concentrate. Prediction
error (ε), which served as one of the criteria for assessment the predictive properties of the
model, is calculated according to formula (1):

, – predicted and real value of copper recovery, respectively

Table 1.Regression statistics

Correlation coefficient R 0,99608

Coefficient of determination R2 0,99217
Adjusted R2 0,99164
Root mean square error 0,079921
Observations 1910

Table 2. Analysis of variance

Regression 1 1544,76 1544,76 241848,19 0
Residual 1909 12,19 0,00639
Total 1910 1556,95

Table 3. Statistical analysis of regression linear equation

C SE t p L95 U95
1,06415 0,00216 491,78 0 1,05991 1,06840

7th BALKANMINE CONGRESS – Proceedings, Prijedor 2017

Figure 4. Prediction error of copper recovery in final concentrate

After considering the results of the regression analysis shown in Table 1, it can be concluded
that the valuesof coefficients are high, which refers to the strong link between the actual and
predicted values of the copper recovery in the final concentrate. In other words, model
wellfollows changes in real values of the observed parameter related to their rise or fall over
However, by visual analysis (see Figure 5), it can be concluded that the recovery values
obtained by the model are generally higher than the real ones.This is also confirmed by the
prediction error, which is mainly positive (Figure 4).

Figure 5. Prediction of the copper recovery in comparison to the training and test data


The results of modeling the process of flotation concentration using the hybrid system ANFIS
indicate that given model has a medium to goodpossibilities to predict the copper recovery in
the final concentrate from the plant "VelikiKrivelj". Namely, high correlation coefficient
means that the model well follows changes in the actual values of the observed parameters,
but, in the same time, predicted values do not always meet the required criteria in terms of


This investigation was conducted under Project TR 33007 "Implementation of the modern
technical, technological and ecological design solutions in the existing production systems of
the Copper Mine Bor and Copper Mine Majdanpek", funded by the Ministry of Education,
Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia.

7th BALKANMINE CONGRESS – Proceedings, Prijedor 2017


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