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This project investigates the use of modern 3D visualisation techniques to enable the interactive analysis of water distribution systems with the aim of providing the engineer with a clear picture of the problem and thus aid the overall design process. Water distribution systems are complex entities that are difficult to model and optimise as they consist of many interacting components each with a set of considerations to address, hence it is important for the engineer to understand and assess the behaviour of the system to enable its effective design and optimisation. This paper presents a new three-dimensional representation of pipe based water systems and demonstrates a range of innovative methods to convey information to the user resulting in the ability to simultaneously display more useful information than traditional two-dimensional plan view network representations. The interactive visualisation system presented not only allows the engineer to visualise the various parameters of a network but also allows the user to observe the behaviour and progress of an iterative optimisation method. This paper contains examples of the combination of the interactive visualisation system and an evolutionary algorithm enabling the user to track and visualise the actions of the algorithm down to an individual pipe diameter change. The visualisation will aggregate changes to the network over an evolutionary algorithm run and ‘lift the lid’ on the operations of an EA as it is optimising a network. In addition, the method allows the engineer to view other important optimisation-related information such as the extent to which constraints have been violated in the current design. It is proposed that this interactive visualisation system will provide engineers an unprecedented view of the way in which optimisation algorithms interact with a network model and may pave the way for greater interaction between engineer, network and optimiser in the future.


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


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