Pressure Sensor Placement for Leak Localization in Water Distribution Networks Using Information Theory

Sensors (Basel). 2022 Jan 7;22(2):443. doi: 10.3390/s22020443.


This paper presents a method for optimal pressure sensor placement in water distribution networks using information theory. The criterion for selecting the network nodes where to place the pressure sensors was that they provide the most useful information for locating leaks in the network. Considering that the node pressures measured by the sensors can be correlated (mutual information), a subset of sensor nodes in the network was chosen. The relevance of information was maximized, and information redundancy was minimized simultaneously. The selection of the nodes where to place the sensors was performed on datasets of pressure changes caused by multiple leak scenarios, which were synthetically generated by simulation using the EPANET software application. In order to select the optimal subset of nodes, the candidate nodes were ranked using a heuristic algorithm with quadratic computational cost, which made it time-efficient compared to other sensor placement algorithms. The sensor placement algorithm was implemented in MATLAB and tested on the Hanoi network. It was verified by exhaustive analysis that the selected nodes were the best combination to place the sensors and detect leaks.

Keywords: information theory; leak localization; pressure monitoring; sensor placement; water distribution network.