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This paper describes the formulation of a Multi-objective Pipe Smoothing Genetic Algorithm (MOPSGA) and its application to the least cost water distribution network design problem. Evolutionary Algorithms have been widely utilised for the optimisation of both theoretical and real-world non-linear optimisation problems, including water system design and maintenance problems. In this work we present a pipe smoothing based approach to the creation and mutation of chromosomes which utilises engineering expertise with the view to increasing the performance of the algorithm whilst promoting engineering feasibility within the population of solutions. MOPSGA is based upon the standard Non-dominated Sorting Genetic Algorithm-II (NSGA-II) and incorporates a modified population initialiser and mutation operator which directly targets elements of a network with the aim to increase network smoothness (in terms of progression from one diameter to the next) using network element awareness and an elementary heuristic. The pipe smoothing heuristic used in this algorithm is based upon a fundamental principle employed by water system engineers when designing water distribution pipe networks where the diameter of any pipe is never greater than the sum of the diameters of the pipes directly upstream resulting in the transition from large to small diameters from source to the extremities of the network. MOPSGA is assessed on a number of water distribution network benchmarks from the literature including some real-world based, large scale systems. The performance of MOPSGA is directly compared to that of NSGA-II with regard to solution quality, engineering feasibility (network smoothness) and computational efficiency. MOPSGA is shown to promote both engineering and hydraulic feasibility whilst attaining good infrastructure costs compared to NSGA-II.


Session S6-03, Special Session: Evolutionary Computing in Water Resources Planning and Management III



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