# Publications

## An Analysis of Multiple Contaminant Warning System Design Objectives for Sensor Placement Optimization in Water Distribution Networks

Watson, Jean P.; Hart, William E.; Greenberg, Harvey J.; Phillips, Cynthia A.

A key strategy for protecting municipal water supplies is the use of sensors to detect the presence of contaminants in associated water distribution systems. Deploying a contamination warning system involves the placement of a limited number of sensorsâ€”placed in order to maximize the level of protection afforded. Researchers have proposed several models and algorithms for generating such placements, each optimizing with respect to a different design objective. The use of disparate design objectives raises several questions: (1) What is the relationship between optimal sensor placements for different design objectives? and (2) Is there any risk in focusing on specific design objectives? We model the sensor placement problem via a mixed-integer programming formulation of the well-known p-median problem from facility location theory to answer these questions. Our model can express a broad range of design objectives. Using three large test networks, we show that optimal solutions with respect to one design objective are often highly sub-optimal with respect to other design objectives. However, it is sometimes possible to construct solutions that are simultaneously near-optimal with respect to a range of design objectives. The design of contamination warning systems thus requires careful and simultaneous consideration of multiple, disparate design objectives.