Mathematical Geosciences

, Volume 42, Issue 3, pp 309–326 | Cite as

Ore Grade Prediction Using a Genetic Algorithm and Clustering Based Ensemble Neural Network Model

  • Snehamoy ChatterjeeEmail author
  • Sukumar Bandopadhyay
  • David Machuca


Accurate prediction of ore grade is essential for many basic mine operations, including mine planning and design, pit optimization, and ore grade control. Preference is given to the neural network over other interpolation techniques for ore grade estimation because of its ability to learn any linear or non-linear relationship between inputs and outputs. In many cases, ensembles of neural networks have been shown, both theoretically and empirically, to outperform a single network. The performance of an ensemble model largely depends on the accuracy and diversity of member networks. In this study, techniques of a genetic algorithm (GA) and k-means clustering are used for the ensemble neural network modeling of a lead–zinc deposit. Two types of ensemble neural network modeling are investigated, a resampling-based neural ensemble and a parameter-based neural ensemble. The k-means clustering is used for selecting diversified ensemble members. The GA is used for improving accuracy by calculating ensemble weights. Results are compared with average ensemble, weighted ensemble, best individual networks, and ordinary kriging models. It is observed that the developed method works fairly well for predicting zinc grades, but shows no significant improvement in predicting lead grades. It is also observed that, while a resampling-based neural ensemble model performs better than the parameter-based neural ensemble model for predicting lead grades, the parameter-based ensemble model performs better for predicting zinc grades.


Ensemble network Neural network GA k-means clustering Support vector machine 


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Copyright information

© International Association for Mathematical Geosciences 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Snehamoy Chatterjee
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sukumar Bandopadhyay
    • 2
  • David Machuca
    • 3
  1. 1.COSMO LaboratoryMcGill UniversityMontrealUSA
  2. 2.Dept. of Mining and Geological EngineeringUniversity of Alaska FairbanksFairbanksUSA
  3. 3.Centre of Computational GeostatisticsUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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