Serious Sensor Placement - Optimal Sensor Placement as a Serious Game

Activity: Talk or presentationTalk at conference or symposiumScience to science


In this work we present a novel approach in water loss research combining two different topics: The optimal placement of pressure sensors in order to detect and localize leaks in water distribution systems and Serious Gaming - games that are not only entertaining but that are also serving another purpose. The intended goal was to create a web interface, through which gamers can playfully place sensors in a graphic representation of a water distribution system, in order to improve these sensor positions after they had been evaluated by a suitable algorithm. Existing optimal sensor placement algorithms were examined and one was chosen and adapted to meet the web-based game interface's requirements. The goal for the players is to achieve a high net coverage regarding the possibility to correctly localize leaks while using as little sensors as possible. The game objectives (a minimum net coverage and a maximum number of sensors) are based on pre-calculated optimal sensor placement results. Two hydraulic models were taken from literature and implemented in the game. The resulting Serious Game was then tested and rated using a questionnaire in a case study. The case study results showed that human players are able to reach solutions, that are similar regarding net coverage to those obtained by optimization. Furthermore, it was shown that the implementation of the ideal sensor placement problem as a Serious Game is motivating the players to get better and better results while also providing them with an enjoyable gaming experience.
Period7 Jun 2021
Event titleWorld Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2021
Event typeConference
LocationVirtual, United StatesShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • serious gaming
  • water distribution
  • water loss reduction
  • leak localization
  • sensor placement