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Pipe Break Rate Assessment While Considering Physical and Operational Factors: A Methodology based on Global Positioning System and Data-Driven Techniques


An accurate prediction of pipes failure rate plays a substantial role in the management of Water Distribution Networks (WDNs). In this study, a field study was conducted to register pipes break and relevant causes in the WDN of Yazd City, Iran. In this way, 851 water pipes were incepted and localized by the Global Positioning System (GPS) apparatus. Then, 1033 failure cases were reported in the eight zones of understudy WDN during March-December 2014. Pipes break rate (BRP) was calculated using the depth of pipe installation (hP), number of failures (NP), the pressure of water pipes in operation (P), and age of pipe (AP). After completing a pipe break database, robust Artificial Intelligence models, namely Multivariate Adaptive Regression Spline (MARS), Gene-Expression Programming (GEP), and M5 Model Tree were employed to extract precise formulation for the pipes break rate estimation. Results of the proposed relationships demonstrated that the MARS model with Coefficient of Correlation (R) of 0.981 and Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) of 0.544 provided more satisfying efficiency than the M5 model (R = 0.888 and RMSE = 1.096). Furthermore, statistical results indicated that MARS and GEP models had comparatively at the same accuracy level. Explicit equations by Artificial Intelligence (AI) models were satisfactorily comparable with those obtained by literature review in terms of various conditions: physical, operational, and environmental factors and complexity of AI models. Through a probabilistic framework for the pipes break rate, the results of first-order reliability analysis indicated that the MARS technique had a highly satisfying performance when MARS-extracted-equation was assigned as a limit state function.

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The data are not publicly available due to restrictions such their containing information that.


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Author information




Yaser Amiri-Ardakani; Performing the field study and collecting the data; Mohammad. Najafzadeh; Formal analysis and investigation, Writing—original draft preparation, Writing -review and editing, Resources, Supervision.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Mohammad Najafzadeh.

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Amiri-Ardakani, Y., Najafzadeh, M. Pipe Break Rate Assessment While Considering Physical and Operational Factors: A Methodology based on Global Positioning System and Data-Driven Techniques. Water Resour Manage 35, 3703–3720 (2021).

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  • Break rate
  • Reliability evaluation
  • Water distribution network
  • Field Investigation
  • Artificial intelligence approaches
  • Available predictive techniques