An attempt to simulate the cascading pillar collapse is made in this paper for a quick evaluation of a large number of mined-out area data that have been collected throughout China. Pillar collapse, load transfer and load redistribution are modeled by the area-apportioned method, and this methodology is general in sense and has been implemented in the expert system developed by the authors as an independent module. The proposed method can provide a quantitative criterion for determination of the failure pattern and identification of the key pillars in the stability analysis of the mined-out area formed by a pillar-room method.

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