A decision support method for design and operationalization of search and rescue in maritime emergency

Weitao Xiong, P. H.A.J.M. van Gelder*, Kewei Yang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
34 Downloads (Pure)


Design and operationalization for Search and Rescue (SAR) activities are unstructured and complex multi-criteria decision-making problems, especially for maritime emergency scenario. There is a lack of decision support methods based on intelligent algorithms to shorten the response time and to reduce the loss of life and property. The primary purpose of this paper is to develop a three-stage decision support method to optimize the type and number of resources when making SAR schemes so as to formulate emergency response more efficiently and effectively. First, the main influential factors are identified in Stage 1, including the particulars of environmental indices, search objects and SAR resources. Next, in Stage 2, important variables are defined for generating probability distribution maps, identifying the search areas, and evaluating the objective function in Stage 3. Two intelligent algorithms, the Differential Evolution (DE) and Non-Dominated Sorting Genetic Algorithm-II (NSGA-II), are used to find appropriate SAR schemes and help resources scheduling. Finally, the feasibility and validity of the model are verified by a ship collision example. From the simulation of the SAR task assignment and decision preference analysis, the proposed method can be used for further improvement of SAR design and operationalization.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107399
JournalOcean Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Decision support
  • Differential evolution
  • Maritime emergency response
  • Multi-objective optimization
  • Search and rescue


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