Serious Sensor Placement—Optimal Sensor Placement as a Serious Game

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In this paper, we present a novel approach in water loss research combining two different topics: The optimal placement of pressure sensors to localize leaks in water distribution systems and Serious Gaming—games that are not only entertaining but that are also serving another purpose.
The goal was to create a web interface, through which gamers could place sensors in a water distribution system model, in order to improve these sensor positions after they had been evaluated by a suitable algorithm. Two game objectives are to be pursued by the players: reaching a specified
net coverage while not using more than a maximum number of sensors. For this purpose, an existing optimal sensor placement algorithm was extended and implemented, together with two hydraulic models taken from literature. The resulting Serious Game was then tested and rated in a case study. The results showed that human players are able to reach solutions that are similar regarding net coverage to those obtained by optimization, within in a short amount of
time. Furthermore, it was shown that the implementation of the ideal sensor placement problem as a Serious Game motivates the players to get better and better results, while also providing them with an enjoyable gaming experience.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number68
Publication statusPublished - 23 Dec 2019


  • serious gaming
  • water distribution systems
  • water loss reduction
  • leak localization

Fields of Expertise

  • Information, Communication & Computing
  • Sustainable Systems

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