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2010-05-15 | Peer Reviewed

Robust placement of sensors in dynamic water distribution systems

Xu, Jianhua, Mitchell small, Jeanne VanBriesen, Paul Fischbeck and Michael Johnson. 2010. “Robust placement of sensors in dynamic water distribution systems.” European Journal of Operational Research 202: 707-716.
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Designing a robust sensor network to detect accidental contaminants in water distribution systems is a challenge given the uncertain nature of the contamination events (what, how much, when, where and for how long) and the dynamic nature of water distribution systems (driven by the random consumption of consumers).

We formulate a set of scenario-based minimax and minimax regret models in order to provide robust sensor-placement schemes that perform well under all realizable contamination scenarios, and thus protect water consumers. Single-and multi-objective versions of these models are then applied to a real water distribution system. A heuristic solution method is applied to solve the robust models. The concept of “sensitivity region” is used to visualize trade-offs between multiple objectives.


  • Xu, Jianhua
  • Other authors:
    small, Mitchell
    VanBriesen, Jeanne
    Fischbeck, Paul
    Johnson, Michael