Pipe index vector: A method to improve genetic-algorithm-based pipe optimization

Kalanithy Vairavamoorthy*, Mohammed Ali

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper proposes a methodology for the optimal design of water distribution systems based on genetic algorithms. The objective of the optimization is to minimize the capital cost, subject to ensuring adequate pressures at all nodes during peak demands. The proposed method is novel in that it involves the use of a pipe index vector to control the genetic algorithm search. The pipe index vector is a measure of the relative importance of pipes in a network in terms of their impact on the hydraulic performance of the network. By using the pipe index vector it is possible to exclude regions of the search space where impractical and infeasible solutions exist. By reducing the search space it is possible to generate feasible solutions more quickly and hence process much healthier populations than would be the case in a standard genetic algorithm. This results in optimal solutions being found in a fewer number of generations resulting in a substantial saving in terms of computational time. The method has been tested on several networks, including networks used for benchmark testing least cost design algorithms, and has been shown to be efficient and robust.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1117-1125
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Hydraulic Engineering
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2005


  • Algorithms
  • Optimization
  • Pipe networks
  • Water distribution systems


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