Optimal design of sewer networks using cellular automata-based hybrid methods: Discrete and continuous approaches
In this article, cellular automata based hybrid methods are proposed for the optimal design of sewer networks and their performance is compared with some of the common heuristic search methods. The problem of optimal design of sewer networks is first decomposed into two sub-optimization problems which are solved iteratively in a two stage manner. In the first stage, the pipe diameters of the network are assumed fixed and the nodal cover depths of the network are determined by solving a nonlinear sub-optimization problem. A cellular automata (CA) method is used for the solution of the optimization problem with the network nodes considered as the cells and their cover depths as the cell states. In the second stage, the nodal cover depths calculated from the first stage are fixed and the pipe diameters are calculated by solving a second nonlinear sub-optimization problem. Once again a CA method is used to solve the optimization problem of the second stage with the pipes considered as the CA cells and their corresponding diameters as the cell states. Two different updating rules are derived and used for the CA of the second stage depending on the treatment of the pipe diameters. In the continuous approach, the pipe diameters are considered as continuous variables and the corresponding updating rule is derived mathematically from the original objective function of the problem. In the discrete approach, however, an adhoc updating rule is derived and used taking into account the discrete nature of the pipe diameters. The proposed methods are used to optimally solve two sewer network problems and the results are presented and compared with those obtained by other methods. The results show that the proposed CA based hybrid methods are more efficient and effective than the most powerful search methods considered in this work.