Failure modeling of water distribution pipelines using meta-learning algorithms

Zainab Almheiri, Mohamed Meguid, Tarek Zayed

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Population growth and urbanization worldwide entail the need for continuous renewal plans for urban water distribution networks. Hence, understanding the long-term performance and predicting the service life of water pipelines are essential for facilitating early replacement, avoiding economic losses, and ensuring safe transportation of drinking water from treatment plants to consumers. However, developing a suitable model that can be used for cases where data are insufficient or incomplete remains challenging. Herein, a new advanced meta-learning paradigm based on deep neural networks is introduced. The developed model is used to predict the risk index of pipe failure. The effects of different factors that are considered essential for the deterioration modeling of water pipelines are first examined. The factors include seasonal climatic variation, chlorine content, traffic conditions, pipe material, and the spatial characteristics of water pipes. The results suggest that these factors contribute to estimating the likelihood of failure in water distribution pipelines. The presence of chlorine residual and the number of traffic lanes are the most critical factors, followed by road type, spatial characteristics, month index, traffic type, precipitation, temperature, number of breaks, and pipe depth. The proposed approach can accommodate limited, high-dimensional, and partially observed data and can be applied to any water distribution system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number117680
JournalWater Research
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2021


  • Essential factors
  • Failure
  • Meta-learning
  • Water pipelines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Ecological Modelling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


Dive into the research topics of 'Failure modeling of water distribution pipelines using meta-learning algorithms'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this