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Efficiency of evolutionary algorithms in water network pipe sizing

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journal contribution
posted on 30.04.2018 by Daniel Mora-Melia, P.L. Iglesias-Rey, F.J. Martinez-Solano, Pablo Ballesteros-Perez
© 2015, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. The pipe sizing of water networks via evolutionary algorithms is of great interest because it allows the selection of alternative economical solutions that meet a set of design requirements. However, available evolutionary methods are numerous, and methodologies to compare the performance of these methods beyond obtaining a minimal solution for a given problem are currently lacking. A methodology to compare algorithms based on an efficiency rate (E) is presented here and applied to the pipe-sizing problem of four medium-sized benchmark networks (Hanoi, New York Tunnel, GoYang and R-9 Joao Pessoa). E numerically determines the performance of a given algorithm while also considering the quality of the obtained solution and the required computational effort. From the wide range of available evolutionary algorithms, four algorithms were selected to implement the methodology: a PseudoGenetic Algorithm (PGA), Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO), a Harmony Search and a modified Shuffled Frog Leaping Algorithm (SFLA). After more than 500,000 simulations, a statistical analysis was performed based on the specific parameters each algorithm requires to operate, and finally, E was analyzed for each network and algorithm. The efficiency measure indicated that PGA is the most efficient algorithm for problems of greater complexity and that HS is the most efficient algorithm for less complex problems. However, the main contribution of this work is that the proposed efficiency ratio provides a neutral strategy to compare optimization algorithms and may be useful in the future to select the most appropriate algorithm for different types of optimization problems.


This research study was funded by the Chilean CONICYT grant under the Program FONDECYT Initiation for research in 2013 and 2014 (Project folio 11130666 and 11140128, respectively).



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Published in

Water Resources Management






4817 - 4831


MORA-MELIA, D. ...et al., 2015. Efficiency of evolutionary algorithms in water network pipe sizing. Water Resources Management, 29(13), pp. 4817-4831.


© Springer


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date



This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Water Resources Management . The final authenticated version is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11269-015-1092-x






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