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Title: A growth model for water distribution networks with loops
Water distribution networks (WDNs) expand their service areas over time. These growth dynamics are poorly understood. One facet of WDNs is that they have loops in general, and closing loops may be a functionally important process for enhancing their robustness and efficiency. We propose a growth model for WDNs that generates networks with loops and is applicable to networks with multiple water sources. We apply the proposed model to four empirical WDNs to show that it produces networks whose structure is similar to that of the empirical WDNs. The comparison between the empirical and modelled WDNs suggests that the empirical WDNs may realize a reasonable balance between cost, efficiency and robustness in terms of the network structure. We also study the design of pipe diameters based on a biological positive feedback mechanism. Specifically, we apply a model inspired by Physarum polycephalum to find moderate positive correlations between the empirical and modelled pipe diameters. The difference between the empirical and modelled pipe diameters suggests that we may be able to improve the performance of WDNs by following organizing principles of biological flow networks.  more » « less
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Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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