Placing an ensemble of pressure sensors for leak detection in water distribution networks under measurement uncertainty

Ehsan Raei, M. Ehsan Shafiee, Mohammad Reza Nikoo, Emily Berglund*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Large volumes of water are wasted through leakage in water distribution networks, and early detection of leakages is important to minimize lost water. Pressure sensors can be placed in a network to detect changes in pressure that indicate the presence of a new leak. This study presents a new approach for placing a set of pressure sensors by creating a list of candidate locations based on sensitivity to leaks that are simulated at all potential nodes in a network. The selection of a set of sensors is explored for two objectives, which are the minimization of the number of sensors and the time of detection. The non-dominated sorting genetic algorithm (NSGA-II) is used to explore trade-offs between these objectives. The effect of measurement uncertainty on the selection of sensor locations is explored by identifying alternative non-dominated fronts for different values for sensor error. The evolutionary algorithm-based approach is applied and demonstrated for the C-Town water network.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-239
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Hydroinformatics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Genetic algorithm
  • Leak detection
  • Nsga-II
  • Pressure sensors
  • Uncertainty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Atmospheric Science

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