The design of any geotechnical structure of significance requires the quantification of safety and in some cases movements. To achieve this the designer must perform calculations using some form of analysis. At present there are several forms of analysis available, all of which involve simplifications and approximations. This lecture will begin by briefly comparing these forms of geotechnical analysis. It will then examine the role of advanced numerical analysis concentrating on their advantages, their ability to accurately predict reality and their shortcomings. Examples of the application of numerical analysis to real engineering problems will be used to reinforce the points made. The lecture concludes by identifying the areas of future development.
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