Neural Computing and Applications

, Volume 29, Issue 6, pp 269–281 | Cite as

Prediction and minimization of blast-induced flyrock using gene expression programming and firefly algorithm

  • Roohollah Shirani Faradonbeh
  • Danial Jahed ArmaghaniEmail author
  • Hassan Bakhshandeh Amnieh
  • Edy Tonnizam Mohamad
Original Article


The main objective of blasting operations is to provide proper rock fragmentation and to avoid undesirable environmental impacts such as flyrock. Flyrock is the source of most of the injuries and property damage in a majority of blasting accidents in surface mines. Therefore, proper prediction and subsequently optimization of flyrock distance may reduce the possible damages. The first objective of this study is to develop a new predictive model based on gene expression programming (GEP) for predicting flyrock distance. To achieve this aim, three granite quarry sites in Malaysia were investigated and a database composed of blasting data of 76 operations was prepared for modelling. Considering changeable GEP parameters, several GEP models were constructed and the best one among them was selected. Coefficient of determination values of 0.920 and 0.924 for training and testing datasets, respectively, demonstrate that GEP predictive equation is capable enough of predicting flyrock. The second objective of this study is to optimize blasting data for minimization purpose of flyrock. To do this, a new non-traditional optimization algorithm namely firefly algorithm (FA) was selected and used. For optimization purposes, a series of analyses were performed on the FA parameters. As a result, implementing FA algorithm, a reduction of about 34 % in results of flyrock distance (from 60 to 39.793 m) was observed. The obtained results of this study are useful to minimize possible damages caused by flyrock.


Flyrock Gene expression programming Firefly algorithm Optimization purpose 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© The Natural Computing Applications Forum 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roohollah Shirani Faradonbeh
    • 1
  • Danial Jahed Armaghani
    • 2
    Email author
  • Hassan Bakhshandeh Amnieh
    • 3
  • Edy Tonnizam Mohamad
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Mining, Faculty of EngineeringTarbiat Modares UniversityTehranIran
  2. 2.Department of Geotechnics and Transportation, Faculty of Civil EngineeringUniversiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM)SkudaiMalaysia
  3. 3.School of Mining, College of EngineeringUniversity of TehranTehranIran

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