Optimal sensor placement for leak location in water distribution networks using genetic algorithms
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This paper proposes a new sensor placement approach for leak location in water distribution networks (WDNs). The sensor placement problem is formulated as an integer optimization problem. The optimization criterion consists in minimizing the number of non-isolable leaks according to the isolability criteria introduced. Because of the large size and non-linear integer nature of the resulting optimization problem, genetic algorithms (GAs) are used as the solution approach. The obtained results are compared with a semi-exhaustive search method with higher computational effort, proving that GA allows one to find near-optimal solutions with less computational load. Moreover, three ways of increasing the robustness of the GA-based sensor placement method have been proposed using a time horizon analysis, a distance-based scoring and considering different leaks sizes. A great advantage of the proposed methodology is that it does not depend on the isolation method chosen by the user, as long as it is based on leak sensitivity analysis. Experiments in two networks allow us to evaluate the performance of the proposed approach. © 2013 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.