A Hybrid Water Distribution Networks Design Optimization Method Based on a Search Space Reduction Approach and a Genetic Algorithm
SubjectWater distribution networks
Search space reduction
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This work presents a new approach to increase the efficiency of the heuristics methods applied to the optimal design of water distribution systems. The approach is based on reducing the search space by bounding the diameters that can be used for every network pipe. To reduce the search space, two opposite extreme flow distribution scenarios are analyzed and velocity restrictions to the pipe flow are then applied. The first scenario produces the most uniform flow distribution in the network. The opposite scenario is represented by the network with the maximum flow accumulation. Both extreme flow distributions are calculated by solving a quadratic programming problem, which is a very robust and efficient procedure. This approach has been coupled to a Genetic Algorithm (GA). The GA has an integer coding scheme and variable number of alleles depending on the number of diameters comprised within the velocity restrictions. The methodology has been applied to several benchmark networks and its performance has been compared to a classic GA formulation with a non-bounded search space. It considerably reduced the search space and provided a much faster and more accurate convergence than the GA formulation. This approach can also be coupled to other metaheuristics.