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Applications of Self-Organizing Systems in Maritime Environments

Author: Neef, R.M. · Lieburg, A. van
Source:Bertram, V.Aramada, M., 3rd Internationa Conference on Computer and IT Applications in Maritime Industries - COMPIT'04, 9-12 May 2004, Siquenza, Spain, 363-377
Identifier: 478228
Keywords: Marine · Command Control · Marine Environments · Maritime platforms · Self Organizing Systems · Decision Support Systems


Maritime platforms are becoming increasingly complex to maintain and operate, due to rising demands in terms of operational capabilities, functional robustness and cost efficiency. Moreover, with an ongoing demand for reduced manning the need for more capable and clever control systems is obvious. Conventional automation approaches typically fall short on maintainability, robustness and scalability, and becoming inadequate to capture the complexity of modern maritime environments, with their abundance of data and dynamic nature. To resolve some of these concerns, the Command & Control group of TNO-FEL is researching the application of self-organizing systems theory for various types of maritime decision support systems. These biologically inspired systems are typically distributed, fast and reactive, computationally very simple, and above all, possess autonomous self-organizing properties that we can employ to build new platform control systems. The most typical example of self-organization are the so-called 'ant-based algorithms', which are a class of algorithms that mimic cooperative behavior of real ant behavior to achieve complex computations. The structural simplicity of these systems, together with their self-organizing capabilities make them a very interesting approach for certain types of computational challenges. We will demonstrate their use in damage control systems, platform management systems and decision support systems, and will describe how we envision their use infuture control systems.