Two-Objective Design of Benchmark Problems of a Water Distribution System via MOEAs: Towards the Best-Known Approximation of the True Pareto Front


Various multiobjective evolutionary algorithms (MOEAs) have been applied to solve the optimal design problems of a water distribution system (WDS). Such methods are able to find the near-optimal trade-off between cost and performance benefit in a single run. Previously published work used a number of small benchmark networks and/or a few large, real-world networks to test MOEAs on design problems of WDS. A few studies also focused on the comparison of different MOEAs given a limited computational budget. However, no consistent attempt has been made before to investigate and report the best-known approximation of the true Pareto front (PF) for a set of benchmark problems, and thus there is not a single point of reference. This paper applied 5 state-of-the-art MOEAs, with minimum time invested in parameterization (i.e.,using the recommended settings), to 12 design problems collected from the literature. Three different population sizes were implemented for each MOEA with respect to the scale of each problem. The true PFs for small problems and the best-known PFs for the other problems were obtained. Five MOEAs were complementary to each other on various problems, which implies that no one method was completely superior to the others. The nondominated sorting genetic algorithm-II (NSGA-II), with minimum parameters tuning, remains a good choice as it showed generally the best achievements across all the problems. In addition, a small population size can be used for small and medium problems (in terms of the number of decision variables). However, for intermediate and large problems, different sizes and random seeds are recommended to ensure a wider PF. The publicly available best-known PFs obtained from this work are a good starting point for researchers to test new algorithms and methodologies for WDS analysis.