Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 973093, 12 pages
Research Article

The Contribution of Particle Swarm Optimization to Three-Dimensional Slope Stability Analysis

1Department of Geotechnics and Transportation, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 Skudai, Johor, Malaysia
2Construction Research Alliance, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 Skudai, Johor, Malaysia

Received 21 February 2014; Accepted 8 April 2014; Published 1 June 2014

Academic Editors: V. Bhatnagar and Y. Zhang

Copyright © 2014 Roohollah Kalatehjari et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Over the last few years, particle swarm optimization (PSO) has been extensively applied in various geotechnical engineering including slope stability analysis. However, this contribution was limited to two-dimensional (2D) slope stability analysis. This paper applied PSO in three-dimensional (3D) slope stability problem to determine the critical slip surface (CSS) of soil slopes. A detailed description of adopted PSO was presented to provide a good basis for more contribution of this technique to the field of 3D slope stability problems. A general rotating ellipsoid shape was introduced as the specific particle for 3D slope stability analysis. A detailed sensitivity analysis was designed and performed to find the optimum values of parameters of PSO. Example problems were used to evaluate the applicability of PSO in determining the CSS of 3D slopes. The first example presented a comparison between the results of PSO and PLAXI-3D finite element software and the second example compared the ability of PSO to determine the CSS of 3D slopes with other optimization methods from the literature. The results demonstrated the efficiency and effectiveness of PSO in determining the CSS of 3D soil slopes.