TUNNELLING AND UNDERGROUND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, vol.23, no.2, pp.111-119, 2008 (SCI-Expanded)
The engineers can frequently encounter with the situation to select the optimum option among the alternatives related with mining operations. The optimum choice can be selected by the experienced engineers taking into consideration their judgement and intuition. However, decision-making methods can offer to the engineers to support their optimum selection for a particular application in the scientific way. The Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) is one of the multi attribute decision-making (MADM) methods utilizing structured pair-wise comparisons. This paper presents an application of the AHP method to the selection of the optimum support design for the main transport road, which has been planned for deep coal seam panels of Western Lignite Corporation (WLC) Tuncbilek in Turkiye. The methodology considers eight main objectives, namely: four different displacement values for determined history locations, factor of safety (FOS), cost, labour and applicability factor for the selection of support design. The displacements and stress values were obtained by using the finite difference program FLAC(3D) as the numerical studies have been widely used by the engineers examining the response of any opening in underground, in advance. After carrying out several numerical models for different support design, the AHP method was incorporated to evaluate these support designs according to the pre-determined criteria. The result of this study shows that such AHP application can assist the engineers to effectively evaluate the support system alternatives for an underground mine. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.