Efficient subset simulation for evaluating the modes of improbable slope failure

A.P. van den Eijnden*, M.A. Hicks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
87 Downloads (Pure)


For analyzing low probability slope failures, a modified version of subset simulation, based on performance-based subset selection rather than the usual probability-based subset selection, is combined with the random finite element method. The application to an idealized slope is used to study the efficiency and consistency of the proposed method compared to classical Monte Carlo simulations and the shear strength reduction (SSR) method. Results demonstrate that failure events taking place without strength reduction have different modes of failure than stable slopes brought to failure by SSR. The correlation between sliding volume and factor of safety is also demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-280
Number of pages14
JournalComputers and Geotechnics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017


  • Mode of failure
  • Random finite element method
  • Slope reliability
  • Subset simulation


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