Heuristic postoptimization approaches for design of water distribution systems

Manuel A. Andrade, Doosun Kang, Christopher Y. Choi, Kevin Lansey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This work presents a postoptimization methodology for refining the solutions found by adaptive search algorithms used in the design of large water distribution networks. The approach uses two heuristics to search for an optimal combination of pipes that, after a reduction of their diameters, will maximize cost savings while continuing to meet design constraints. Adaptive search methods are often used to design urban water distribution networks when the number of pipes in the network is insignificant. For complex, real-world networks, however, such methods are computationally demanding, and they have difficulty finding near-global optima. To identify a solution as close to the global optimum (and in which no pipe can be reduced without violating pressure constraint), requires a high-speed computer potentially running for a long time and also probably some good fortune. The postoptimization approach presented in this paper is shown to be an efficient complement to heuristic search algorithms used in the design of real-world networks. In a network created with the aid of a genetic algorithm, the proposed heuristics found that 4.37% of the pipes with a diameter greater than the minimum could be further reduced without causing hydraulic failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-395
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Water Resources Planning and Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2013


  • Greedy algorithm
  • Optimization
  • Water distribution system (wds) design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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