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Optimisation of water distribution network design: a critical review


  • DE CORTE, Annelies
  • SÖRENSEN, Kenneth


This paper surveys the literature on the optimisation of water distribution network design. The water distribution network design (WDND) optimisation problem entails finding the type and diameter of each pipe in the network so that the total cost of the network is minimised without violating any hydraulic constraints. This is a difficult combinatorial optimisation problem, in which decision variables are discrete and both cost function and constraints are non-linear. Over the past 30 years, a large number of methods, especially in the field of (meta)heuristics, have been developed to solve this problem, most of which obtain good results on the available benchmark networks. In addition to outlining the basic features of each method, a detailed computational comparison is presented. The need for an adequate set of benchmark instances and the desirable properties of an instance set generator, are discussed. The paper concludes by pointing out some issues with the current state of the art in this domain and presents some suggestions for future research in this domain.

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  • DE CORTE, Annelies & SÖRENSEN, Kenneth, 2012. "Optimisation of water distribution network design: a critical review," Working Papers 2012016, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ant:wpaper:2012016

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    1. da Conceicao Cunha, Maria & Ribeiro, Luisa, 2004. "Tabu search algorithms for water network optimization," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 157(3), pages 746-758, September.
    2. Szeto, W.Y. & Wu, Yongzhong & Ho, Sin C., 2011. "An artificial bee colony algorithm for the capacitated vehicle routing problem," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 215(1), pages 126-135, November.
    3. J. Reca & J. Martínez & C. Gil & R. Baños, 2008. "Application of Several Meta-Heuristic Techniques to the Optimization of Real Looped Water Distribution Networks," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 22(10), pages 1367-1379, October.
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