A risk-based multi-objective model for optimal placement of sensors in water distribution system

Sareh S. Naserizade, Mohammad Reza Nikoo*, Hossein Montaseri

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, a new stochastic model based on Conditional Value at Risk (CVaR) and multi-objective optimization methods is developed for optimal placement of sensors in water distribution system (WDS). This model determines minimization of risk which is caused by simultaneous multi-point contamination injection in WDS using CVaR approach. The CVaR considers uncertainties of contamination injection in the form of probability distribution function and calculates low-probability extreme events. In this approach, extreme losses occur at tail of the losses distribution function. Four-objective optimization model based on NSGA-II algorithm is developed to minimize losses of contamination injection (through CVaR of affected population and detection time) and also minimize the two other main criteria of optimal placement of sensors including probability of undetected events and cost. Finally, to determine the best solution, Preference Ranking Organization METHod for Enrichment Evaluation (PROMETHEE), as a subgroup of Multi Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) approach, is utilized to rank the alternatives on the trade-off curve among objective functions. Also, sensitivity analysis is done to investigate the importance of each criterion on PROMETHEE results considering three relative weighting scenarios. The effectiveness of the proposed methodology is examined through applying it to Lamerd WDS in the southwestern part of Iran. The PROMETHEE suggests 6 sensors with suitable distribution that approximately cover all regions of WDS. Optimal values related to CVaR of affected population and detection time as well as probability of undetected events for the best optimal solution are equal to 17,055 persons, 31 mins and 0.045%, respectively. The obtained results of the proposed methodology in Lamerd WDS show applicability of CVaR-based multi-objective simulation–optimization model for incorporating the main uncertainties of contamination injection in order to evaluate extreme value of losses in WDS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-159
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018


  • Conditional value at risk
  • Optimal placement of sensors
  • Risk management
  • Water distribution system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology

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