AgentC: Employing Agents to Fight Maritime Piracy


News

A new paper was published in the Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies:

Ondrej Vanek and Michal Jakob and Ondrej Hrstka and Michal Pechoucek: Agent-based Model of Mariime Traffic in Piracy-affected Waters. Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies. 2013. 

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Problem

Around 90% of the world trade is transported by the international shipping industry. Any disruption to world shipping lanes thus has a significant impact on the world economy. The recent steep rise of maritime piracy represents one of the biggest threats to maritime shipping in decades. Even though various countermeasures have been put into effect, no solution has been found yet, and the pirates grow stronger with each year. Only in 2010, 53 cargo-vessels were hijacked and 1181 crew members held hostage. The situation has been further deteriorating in 2011, with further steep increases in attack numbers, pirate brutality and ransom paid, which reached an all-time high in April 2011 with $13M paid for the release of the Greek owned oil tanker Irene SL.

Research Objectives

We explore how multi-agent systems, a branch of artificial intelligence, can be used to improve maritime security, with particular focus on fighting maritime piracy. Our ultimate objective is to develop an integrated set of algorithmic techniques for maximizing transit security given the limited protection resources available. We achieve this by improving the coordination of the movement of merchant vessels and naval patrols, while taking into account the behavior of pirates.

In order to evaluate the proposed techniques and to gain better insight into the structure and dynamics of maritime piracy, we also employ agent-based simulation and machine learning techniques to build dynamic models of maritime transit and to model and assess piracy risk.

All methods are implemented within a modular software testbed featuring a scalable simulation engine, connectors to real-world data sources and powerful visualization front-end based on Google Earth.

Results

Modeling

  1. Maritime Transit Simulation -- We have utilized the platform and vessel behavior models to develop a detailed simulation of maritime traffic which allows to estimate piracy risk under various transit and patrol routing strategies.
  2. Vessel Behavior Models -- We have developed a highly-detailed agent-based model of each vessel class. The model uses real-world data and it is based on Finite State Machines.
  3. Maritime Simulation Platform -- We have developed a modular agent-based simulation platform providing base layer for the Maritime Transit simulation.

Analysis

  1. Maritime Domain Data -- We have assembled real-world data sources concerning key aspects of maritime transit, including AIS vessel trajectories, transit corridors, piracy incidents etc.
  2. Piracy Risk Modeling and Assessment -- We have applied data mining and machine learning on real-world pirate incidents data and derived models predicting piracy risk in different regions.

Optimization

  1. Optimization of Group Transit Schedules -- We have designed an optimized group transit scheme which results in shorter delay and higher speed of travel when transiting pirate waters (e.g. the Gulf of Aden).
  2. Risk-minimizing Transit and Patrol Routing -- We have applied game theory and security games in particular to optimize transit and patrol routes to decrease transit predictability and maximize deterrence of navy patrolling.
Vessel trajectories dataMaritime traffic simulationPiracy risk estimationRisk-minimizing transit and patrol routing

AgentC Web Application

We use various data feeds and analysis results obtained from the simulation testbed to compute the risk of attack along a route through the pirate infested areas: AgentC Online.

Team

Ondrej Vanek, (project leader, contact person), Michal Jakob, Ondrej Hrstka, Branislav Bosansky, and Michal Pechoucek (principal investigator)

Acknowledgements

The work presented is supported by the Office of Naval Research project no. N00014-09-1-0537 and by the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports under Research Programme no. MSM6840770038: Decision Making and Control for Manufacturing III.

Publications

Papers

  • Ondrej Vanek and Ondrej Hrstka and Michal Pechoucek: Improving Group Transit Schemes to Minimize Negative Effects of Maritime Piracy. IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems (to appear). 2014.
    BiBTeX | PDF (430)
  • Ondrej Vanek and Michal Pechoucek: Dynamic Group Transit Scheme for Corridor Transit. In Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Modeling, Simulation and Applied Optimization (ICMSAO). IEEE Press, 2013.
    BiBTeX | PDF (388)
  • Ondrej Vanek and Michal Jakob and Ondrej Hrstka and Michal Pechoucek: Agent-based Model of Mariime Traffic in Piracy-affected Waters. Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies.. 2013, vol. 36, p. 157–176. ISSN 0968-090X.
    BiBTeX | PDF (422)
  • Michal Jakob and Ondrej Vanek and Ondrej Hrstka and Michal Pechoucek: Agents vs. Pirates: Multi-Agent Simulation and Optimization to Fight Maritime Piracy. In 12th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems. 2012.
    BiBTeX | PDF (345)
  • Ondrej Vanek: Security Games with Mobile Patrollers (Extended Abstract). In Proceedings of 10th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS). 2011.
    BiBTeX | PDF (7)
  • Ondrej Vanek, Michal Pechoucek, Michal Jakob, Branislav Bosansky a Viliam Lisy: Agentni simulaci proti somalskym piratum. Scientific American, Czech Edition. 2011.
    BiBTeX | PDF (5)
  • Ondrej Vanek, Michal Jakob, Ondrej Hrstka, and Michal Pechoucek: AgentC: Agent-based System for Securing Maritime Transit (Demonstration). In Proceedings of The 10th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems. 2011.
    BiBTeX | PDF (10)
  • Ondrej Vanek and Michal Jakob and Viliam Lisy and Branislav Bosansky and Michal Pechoucek: Iterative Game-theoretic Route Selection for Hostile Area Transit and Patrolling. In Tenth International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems. 2011.
    BiBTeX | PDF (14)
  • Michal Jakob and Ondrej Vanek and Michal Pechoucek: Using Agents to Improve International Maritime Transport Security. IEEE Intelligent Systems. 2011, vol. 26, p. 90-96. ISSN 1541-1672.
    BiBTeX | PDF (13)
  • Ondrej Hrstka and Ondrej Vanek: Optimizing Group Transit in the Gulf of Aden. In Proceedings of 15th International Student Conference on Electrical Engineering (POSTER). 2011.
    BiBTeX | PDF (6)
  • Branislav Bosansky, Viliam Lisy, Michal Jakob and Michal Pechoucek: Computing Time-Dependent Policies for Patrolling Games with Mobile Targets. Tenth International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems. 2011.
    BiBTeX | PDF (12)
  • Ondrej Vanek and Branislav Bosansky and Michal Jakob and Michal Pechoucek: Transiting Areas Patrolled by a Mobile Adversary. In Proceedings of 2010 IEEE Conference on Compuattional Intelligence and Games. 2010.
    BiBTeX | PDF (51)
  • Michal Jakob and Ondrej Vanek and Stepan Urban and Petr Benda and Michal Pechoucek: Employing Agents to Improve the Security of International Maritime Transport. In Proceedings of AAMAS 2010 Workshop on Agents In Traffic and Transportation. 2010.
    BiBTeX | PDF (59)
  • Stepan Urban and Michal Jakob and Michal Pechoucek: Probabilistic modeling of mobile agents' trajectories. In Proceedings of the International Workshop on Agents and Data Mining Interaction (ADMI 2010). 2010.
    BiBTeX | PDF (50)
  • Michal Jakob and Ondrej Vanek and Stepan Urban and Petr Benda and Michal Pechoucek: AgentC: Agent-based Testbed for Adversarial Modeling and Reasoning in the Maritime Domain (Demo). In Proceedings of The Ninth International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems. 2010.
    BiBTeX | PDF (58)
  • Ondrej Vanek: Agent-based Simulation of the Maritime Domain. In POSTER 2010, 14th International Student Conference on Electrical Engineering. CVUT, Fakulta elektrotechnicka, 2010.
    BiBTeX | PDF (53)
  • Ondrej Vanek: Agent-based Simulation of the Maritime Domain. Acta Polytechnica. 2010, vol. 50, p. 94-99.
    BiBTeX | PDF (44)
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Books

  • Ondrej Vanek and Michal Jakob and Michal Pechoucek: Using Data-Driven Simulation for Analysis of Maritime Piracy. In Prediction and Recognition of Piracy Efforts Using Collaborative Human-Centric Information Systems. IOS Press, 2013, p. 109-116.
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Other

  • Ondrej Vanek: Computational Methods for Transportation Security. . 2013.
    BiBTeX | PDF (431)
  • Ondrej Vanek, Michal Jakob, Ondrej Hrstka, and Michal Pechoucek: Agent-based System for Securing Maritime Transit (May 2011). . 2011.
    BiBTeX | PDF (313)
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Reports

  • Michal Jakob and Ondrej Vanek and Branislav Bosansky and Ondrej Hrstka and Vojtech Krizek and Stepan Urban and Petr Benda and Michal Pechoucek: Adversarial Modeling and Reasoning in the Maritime Domain - Year 2 Report. . 2010.
    BiBTeX | PDF (26)
  • Michal Jakob and Ondrej Vanek and Stepan Urban and Petr Benda and Michal Pechoucek: Adversarial Modeling and Reasoning in the Maritime Domain (Year 1 Report). . 2009.
    BiBTeX | PDF (57)
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