Water Resources Management

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 333–350 | Cite as

HydroGen: an Artificial Water Distribution Network Generator

  • Annelies De Corte
  • Kenneth Sörensen


Many (metaheuristic) techniques for water distribution network (WDN) design optimisation already have been developed. Despite of the aforementioned scientific attention, only few, high-quality benchmark networks are available for algorithm testing, which, in turn, hinders profound algorithm testing, sensitivity analysis and comparison of the developed techniques. This absence of high-quality benchmark networks motivated us to develop a tool to algorithmically generate close-to-reality virtual WDNs. The tool, called HydroGen, can generate WDNs of arbitrary size and varying characteristics in EPANET or GraphML format. The generated WDNs are compared to (and shown to closely resemble) real WDNs in an analysis based on graph-theoretical indices. HydroGen is used to generate an extensive library of realistic test networks on which (metaheuristic) methods for the optimisation of WDN design can be tested, allowing researchers in this area to run sensitivity analyses and to draw conclusions on the robustness and performance of their methods.


Water distribution networks Network generation HydroGen Water distribution network design 



This research was funded by the Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO). The authors would like to thank Jochen Janssens for the useful input on network generation methods. This research has been partially supported by the Interuniversity Attraction Poles (IUAP) Programme initiated by the Belgian Science Policy Office.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departement Engineering ManagementUniversiteit AntwerpenAntwerpBelgium

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