This paper presents a decision support methodology aimed at assisting Water Distribution System (WDS) operators in the timely location of pipe bursts. This will enable them to react more systematically and promptly. The information gathered from various data sources to help locate where a pipe burst might have occurred is frequently conflicting and imperfect. The methodology developed in this paper deals effectively with such information sources. The raw data collected in the field is first processed by means of several models, namely the pipe burst prediction model, the hydraulic model and the customer contacts model. The Dempster–Shafer Theory of Evidence is then used to combine the outputs of these models with the aim of increasing the certainty of determining the location of a pipe burst within a WDS. This new methodology has been applied to several semi-real case studies. The results obtained demonstrate that the method shows potential for locating the area of a pipe burst by capturing the varying credibility of the individual models based on their historical performance.
Keywords: decision support, diagnostics, evidence theory, pipe burst, water distribution system