In the last two decades there has been a great expansion in the power and availability of numerical procedures, e.g., those based on finite elements, finite differences, integral equations, and the method of characteristics. This has opened a new era in analysis and design for a wide range of problems in geotechnical engineering, and it has permitted the incorporation into analysis and design of complex factors (nonlinear behavior, dynamic loads, discontinuities, and non-homogeneities) that cannot be readily handled by the closed-form and empirical procedures used previously. The large, high speed computer has been essential to the phenomenal growth of numerical methods because it has made them efficient and economical. Numerical procedures are now accepted and employed in practice and are included in the research and teaching programs at most colleges and universities. However, there is no unified treatment of the theory and applications available at this time. The basic aim of this book is to present such a unified treatment of numerical methods in the area of geotechnical engineering. It combines the experience and knowledge of a number of recognized workers from different backgrounds and countries.
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