Agent-based Simulation of Maritime Transit

We have developed a detailed agent-based simulation of maritime transit through piracy-affected waters, with particular emphasis on the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. The simulation is built using the maritime traffic simulation platform and employs real-world maritime domain data and expressive vessel behavior models.

Simulation

The AgentC simulation employs the agent-based modeling approach where each vessel is modeled on the individual level including its interaction with other vessels and the environment. This allows our model to accurately represent phenomena that stem from the interaction between all categories of vessels (merchant, pirate, navy), which cannot be often captured by high-level equation-based models due to their complex, non-linear nature.

Vessel Interaction. The pirate attack on Amber K was interrupted by a USS Vella Gulf helicopter SH-60.

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Transit Model Validation

We validated our model of maritime transit by comparing simulation results with real-world data.

First, we compared merchant traffic densities with real-world densities reported in [1]. The agreement is very good. In the future, we aim to introduce and evaluate a formal measure of model accuracy.

Merchant Vessel movement validation

Furthermore, we used pirate attack density resulting from our pirate models in conjunction with models of merchant and naval vessels and compared it with data provided by the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre.

Piracy model validation

Overall, the agreement between the real-world and simulated pirate attack density is satisfactory, especially considering the random fluctuations in the real-world attack density and the fact that the simulated attack density is the result of the interaction of three types of vessels. Each deviation in the behavior model is amplified through these interactions and can have a disproportional effect on the resulting incident density. We currently focus on fixing the largest discrepancies.

[1] B. Halpern, S. Walbridge, K. Selkoe, C. Kappel, F. Micheli, C. D’Agrosa, J. Bruno, K. Casey, C. Ebert, and H. Fox. A global map of human impact on marine ecosystems. Science, 319(5865):948, 2008

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Transit Scenario What-if Analysis

The developed simulation enables the what-if analysis of the potential behavior of the maritime transit system under varying parameters, including numbers of vessels in each category, transit routes followed or pirate capabilities and tactics employed. This allows to test the effectiveness of prospective piracy counter-measure prior to their deployment to practice.

As an example of the potential of the developed transit simulation, we show the results of the simulation-based analysis of different group transit schedules used in Group of Aden Group Transit Scheme. Taking into account the speed distribution of incoming vessels, we computed optimal schedules for different numbers of speed levels. We also proposed a a fully dynamic, traffic-responsive grouping which creates groups on-the-fly depending on the arriving traffic. For each schedule, we evaluated key performance indicators -- delay incurred by participating in group transits, the number of pirate attacks and the number of successful pirate attacks -- and compare it with the current scheme (which uses 5 speed levels and non-optimal uniformly distributed speed levels).

The graphs bellow summarize the results. As expected, the transit delay decreases with increasing the number of speed levels because vessels do not have to slow that much. The number of attacks shows a much more interesting dependency, with the number of attacks peeking for seven speed levels while the number of successful attacks remaining more or less constant. This complex, non-linear dependency is caused by the competing effects occurring when changing the number of speed levels. Increasing the number of speed levels increases average transit speed (which decreases the chance of a successful attack) but also increases fragmentation of the transit traffic (which makes it easier for the pirates to find a target and more difficult for patrols to be able to respond to launched attacks. The fully dynamic schemes is best in all characteristics measured, though its implementation in practice is more complicated.

Grouping results

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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • Ondrej Vanek: Security Games with Mobile Patrollers (Extended Abstract). In Proceedings of 10th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS). 2011.
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  • Ondrej Vanek, Michal Pechoucek, Michal Jakob, Branislav Bosansky a Viliam Lisy: Agentni simulaci proti somalskym piratum. Scientific American, Czech Edition. 2011.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • Ondrej Vanek: Agent-based Simulation of the Maritime Domain. In POSTER 2010, 14th International Student Conference on Electrical Engineering. CVUT, Fakulta elektrotechnicka, 2010.
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  • Ondrej Vanek: Agent-based Simulation of the Maritime Domain. Acta Polytechnica. 2010, vol. 50, p. 94-99.
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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.
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  • Ondrej Vanek, Michal Jakob, Ondrej Hrstka, and Michal Pechoucek: Agent-based System for Securing Maritime Transit (May 2011). . 2011.
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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.
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  • 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.
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