Publications / Conference

Sensor placement for municipal water networks

Phillips, Cynthia A.; Boman, Erik G.; Carr, Robert D.; Hart, William E.; Berry, Jonathan W.; Watson, Jean-Paul W.; Hart, David B.; Mckenna, Sean A.; Riesen, Lee A.

We consider the problem of placing a limited number of sensors in a municipal water distribution network to minimize the impact over a given suite of contamination incidents. In its simplest form, the sensor placement problem is a p-median problem that has structure extremely amenable to exact and heuristic solution methods. We describe the solution of real-world instances using integer programming or local search or a Lagrangian method. The Lagrangian method is necessary for solution of large problems on small PCs. We summarize a number of other heuristic methods for effectively addressing issues such as sensor failures, tuning sensors based on local water quality variability, and problem size/approximation quality tradeoffs. These algorithms are incorporated into the TEVA-SPOT toolkit, a software suite that the US Environmental Protection Agency has used and is using to design contamination warning systems for US municipal water systems.