Anomaly Detection System for Water Networks in Northern Ethiopia Using Bayesian Inference
Accenture Labs, San Francisco, CA 94105, USA
Charity Water, New York City, NY 10013, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(7), 2897; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12072897
Received: 28 February 2020 / Revised: 2 April 2020 / Accepted: 2 April 2020 / Published: 5 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Internet of Things, Remote Sensing and Analytics to Support Distributed Monitoring and Management of Water, Sanitation, Agricultural and Energy Resources in Remote and Low Income Regions)
For billions of people living in remote and rural communities in the developing countries, small water systems are the only source of clean drinking water. Due to the rural nature of such water systems, site visits may occur infrequently. This means broken water systems can remain in a malfunctioning state for months, forcing communities to return to drinking unsafe water. In this work, we present a novel two-level anomaly detection system aimed to detect malfunctioning remote sensored water hand-pumps, allowing for a proactive approach to pump maintenance. To detect anomalies, we need a model of normal water usage behavior first. We train a multilevel probabilistic model of normal usage using approximate variational Bayesian inference to obtain a conditional probability distribution over the hourly water usage data. We then use this conditional distribution to construct a level-1 scoring function for each hourly water observation and a level-2 scoring function for each pump. Probabilistic models and Bayesian inference collectively were chosen for their ability to capture the high temporal variability in the water usage data at the individual pump level as well as their ability to estimate interpretable model parameters. Experimental results in this work have demonstrated that the pump scoring function is able to detect malfunctioning sensors as well as a change in water usage behavior allowing for a more responsive and proactive pump system maintenance.