International Numerical Modeling Contest of Rock Mechanics and Engineering(INCR)2021

1. Introduction

With the development of computer technology, numerical modeling has become the third pillar of scientific research besides physical experiment and theoretical analysis. In the scientific literature on rock mechanics, papers involving numerical simulation account for more than 25% (data from ScopusTM). Moreover, numerical modeling seems to be the only economically and technically feasible research tool to tackle these new era problems, e.g. deep earth mining and deep space mining. There are many numerical methods for rock mechanics problems, for example, the Discrete Element Model (DEM), Discontinuous Deformation Analysis (DDA), Meshless Methods (MMs), etc. However, for rock mechanics problems, numerical modeling still has following shortcomings: challenges in the selection of reliable parameters, uncontrollable human operation influences, unclear physical mechanism, lack of extensive and solid verifications, etc. These shortcomings have hindered the further application of numerical modeling on rock mechanics and rock engineering to a certain extent.

International Numerical Modeling Contest of Rock Mechanics and Engineering (INCR) is proposed and organized by the Discontinuous Deformation Analysis Commission of International Society for Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering (ISRM DDA Commission) and the Discontinuous Deformation Analysis Commission of Chinese Society for Rock Mechanics & Engineering (CSRME DDA Commission). Its purpose is to encourage research students to conduct open, transparent and extensive verification of existing numerical methods and software on rock mechanics problems. INCR aims to provide platform for sharing experimental and numerical results on rock mechanics problems and promote the application of numerical simulation in rock mechanics and engineering. The 1st INCR will be organized and sponsored by Tianjin University, China University of Geosciences (Wuhan), Nanjing University, Hebei University of Technology and Beijing University of Technology.   

2. Time arrangement

l Contest Starts: 5:00 p.m. 10th October, 2021 (Beijing time).

l Contest Ends: 8:00 p.m. 14th October, 2021 (Beijing time).

l Results Submission: 9:00 p.m. 14th October, 2021 (Beijing time).

l Contest Results: the results will be released on the 11th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium (ARMS 11).

l Awarding Ceremony: paper certificate will be issued.

3. Entry rules

o   Topics

       u Half-opened topic: there are two stages for the numerical modeling on classic rock mechanical problems, e.g. fracturing and granular flow. The first stage is called “white box stage”, in which a group of experimental data will be provided for the parameter calibration. After the calibration, the team is asked to simulate and predict the results under given conditions. The following stage is black box state. The experimental data and reference numerical results of the black box stage will be released after the contest. There are two problems including Problem A: rock fracturing and Problem B: granular flow. Any problem can be chosen as your task (namely only one problem needs to be completed).

o   Teams

       u Team Members: the competition is open to all full-time/part-time graduate students. A team is allowed to have up to three students currently studying at the same university, and there are no restrictions on the school and departments of all participated students.

       u Team Leader: any member in the team can act as the leader, and the leader will become the contact of the team.

o   Contest rules

        l Before the contest

               u Each student can only participate in one team.

               u The team can download the paper template and contest sample task from the official website ( in advance for reference.

               u After the beginning of the competition, team leader should log on to the website to download the competition task.

l During the contest

      u Each team should work on the task dependently. It is not allowed to seek help from others in any way. Team members can use "inanimate resources" such as webpages, books, articles, research reports, and databases, but the originality of works submitted by the team must be declared. If there are any references, please indicate in the text to ensure that they do not infringe the intellectual property rights of others.

      u Commercial software or self-made numerical code or open source code can be used. Regardless of the method, reproducible supporting materials are required. (Commercial software includes but not limited to: Ansys, Abaqus, Comsol, Flac, PFC, Udec,3Dec, RFPA, MatDem, etc. The participating teams need to have the corresponding copyright license.)

      u Team members are strictly prohibited from posting or sharing content in any form during the contest.

              u Each registered team, allowed to have up to three students, is required to complete the numerical modeling for a given half-opened task in four days (96 hours).

l After the contest

          u The team consultant should name the final work of the team with "INCR # SurName1 & SurName2 & SurName3" and submit it as an attachment to the mailbox ( before the deadline.

            u The submission form is a numerical modeling report, which requires a complete presentation of the idea of the work, calculation principle, modeling process, results analysis, and innovation of the work, etc. The report should be submitted in the form of an Adobe PDF electronic file, up to 25 pages in English, and its readable font must be at least 12 point font.

    u The submitted works shall show necessary identifying information such as name of all students, institutions, email etc.

Note: The judging panel reserves the right to disqualify teams that violate the rules of the competition.

4. Evaluation of works

o Evaluation ends on the first weekend after the end of the contest.

o The judging panel has a presiding judge and several judges from the ISRM DDA Commission and CSRME DDA Commission, and each report will be independently judged and scored by the judge group.

5. Award settings

The results of this contest are ranked in three categories: first prize, second prize and third prize. And the certificates will be issued.




First prize


Trophy, reward of RMB 5000 and certificate

Second prize


Trophy, reward of RMB 3000 and certificate

Third prize


Trophy, reward of RMB 1000 and certificate

6. Relevant institutions

         l Organizer/Sponsor

u ISRM DDA Commission

u CSRME DDA Commission

u Tianjin University

u China University of Geosciences (Wuhan)

u Nanjing University

u Hebei University of Technology

u Beijing University of Technology

l Technical support

              In order to ensure the smooth running of the contest, the Expert Committee and Organizing Committee of the International Numerical Modeling Contest of Rock Mechanics and Engineering were set up to be responsible for the guidance, evaluation, organization and publicity of the contest.

INCR2021-Problem A.pdf
INCR2021-Problem B.pdf