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Neural Networks, Linear Programming, and Other Model Based Decision Tools

Neural Networks in the Mining Industry

A significant issue in the mining industry involves the amount of accidents and casualties caused by falling rock. In the past, miners had to test whether or not an area was safe to work in by striking the hanging wall with a sounding bar and listening for the sound it made. While many skilled miners could hear the distinction, it was still not an extremely accurate practice. Thus, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research decided to design a device that will help miners conclude whether or not an area is safe to work in on an objective basis. The technology that is used in this new tool is an artificial neural network that records the noise from the sounding bar, processes it through the layers of the model, and then categorizes the wall as either “intact or detached”.1 The device has proven accurate more than 70% of the