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Lučin, I., Čarija, Z., Družeta, S., Lučin, B.

Detailed Leak Localization in Water Distribution Networks Using Random Forest Classifier and Pipe Segmentation
IEEE ACCESS, (2021),, (quartile Q2)


Abstract: In this paper, a Random Forest classifier was used to predict leak locations for two differently sized water distribution networks based on pressure sensor measurements. The prediction model is trained on simulated leak scenarios with randomly chosen parameters – leak location, leak size, and base node demand uncertainty. Leak localization methods found in literature that rely on numerical simulations can only predict network nodes as leak nodes; however, since a leak can occur at any point along a pipe segment, additional spatial discretization of suspect pipe is proposed in this paper. It was observed that pipe segmentation of the whole network is a non-feasible approach since it rapidly increases the number of potential leak locations, consequently increasing the complexity of the prediction model. Therefore, a novel approach is proposed, in which a prediction model is trained on scenarios with leaks occurring in original network nodes only, but with its accuracy assessed against pressure sensor measurements from scenarios in which leaks occur in points between network nodes. It was observed that this approach can successfully narrow down the suspect leak area and, followed by additional segmentation of that network area and subsequent prediction, a precise leak localization can be achieved. The proposed approach enables incorporation of various uncertainties by simulating leak scenarios under different conditions. Investigation of leak size uncertainty and base demand variation showed that several different scenarios can produce similar sensor measurements which makes it difficult to unambiguously determine leak location using the prediction model. Therefore, future approaches of coupling prediction modeling with optimization methods are proposed.