Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Engineering Science


Civil and Environmental Engineering


Dr. Hanping Hong

Second Advisor

Dr. Ian D. Moore


Aging infrastructure such as the water distribution system needs to be rehabilitated and maintained to provide uninterrupted and intended service, and to minimize possible failure with minimum expenditure. The failure of water distribution system is inherently uncertain and cannot be predicted deterministically. The theories and methodologies for rational maintenance decisions under uncertainty for water distribution systems have been well developed. The methodologies take into account the uncertainty in the break occurrence and consider the cost associated with rehabilitation and renewal. Some of these methodologies have been implemented in the decision support systems (DSS), and the presentation of the analysis results for the spatially distributed water main network is facilitated through the use of a Geographic Information System (GIS). However, in many studies, the integration of the probabilistic analysis models and a GIS to prioritize the rehabilitation scheme for water distribution systems is often either loose coupling, which is often considered to be cumbersome in data exchange among the GIS and other programs, or embedded computing system, which is often considered to be superficial in problem solving and expensive due to the complex system development. Therefore, in those studies, a GIS is often used as a tool for spatial query, spatial selection or thematic mapping and they do not take the full advantage of the features, such as the spatial analysis functionalities, available within the GIS environment. To facilitate the municipal engineers in using probabilistic based DSS to make informed decisions, in this study, development of integrated application of the GIS and probabilistic analysis for water pipeline renewal prioritization are carried out. The development includes the implementation of necessary subroutines and functions, and the m incorporation of optimization algorithm for the probabilistic analysis in Visual Basic Application (VBA) environment that is supported by the commercially available GIS software, ArcView 9.1 by ESRI. In addition, user friendly Graphic User Interfaces (GUIs) are built and within the ArcView 9.1 to assist the user with data processing (e.g., cost information) and result visualization in map format. The developed system uses the expected total cost during a service period or the expected cost per unit service period as objective functions, and takes into account stochastic break occurrence modeling, pipe material and surrounding soil condition. An illustrative application of the developed system is given with the water distribution system obtained from an industry partner, the City of Hamilton. Through the example application, it is shown that the developed GIS-integrated DSS is not only an effective and efficient tight coupling system to implement the analysis and provide optimal replacement schedules to decision makers and city planners, but also a user-friendly system with the developed GUIs in ArcGIS.



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