Geographical spatial analysis and risk prediction based on machine learning for maritime traffic accidents: A case study of Fujian sea area

Yang Yang, Zheping Shao, Yu Hu, Qiang Mei*, Jiacai Pan, Rongxin Song, Peng Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
22 Downloads (Pure)


Safety analysis according to the spatial distribution characteristics of maritime traffic accidents is critical to maritime traffic safety management. An accident analysis framework based on the geographic information system (GIS) is proposed to characterize the spatial distribution of maritime traffic accidents occurring in the Fujian sea area in 2007–2020 by employing kernel density estimation and spatial autocorrelation techniques. The sea area is divided into various grids, and in each grid, the mapping relationships between the number and severity of the traffic accidents and the traffic characteristics are established. Machine learning (ML) technology is used to assess whether a grid area is an accident-prone area and to predict accident severity in each grid. The accident prediction of different ML models, including random forest (RF) model, Adaboost model, gradient boosting decision tree (GBDT) model, and Stacking combined model, were compared. The optimality of the Stacking combined model was verified by comparing the experimental results of this model with those of classical prediction models, convolutional neural network (CNN), long short term memory (LSTM), and support vector machine (SVM). According to the results, the maritime accident data set of the entire Fujian sea area shows typical clustering characteristics and positive spatial correlation. That is, the kernel density estimation indicates that subareas, including the Ningde sea area, Fuzhou sea area, and Xiamen sea area, generally have high densities of maritime accidents and the highest risk value within the whole Fujian sea area. High-high accident clustering, that is high cluster areas neighbored by other areas of high cluster, is mainly seen in the Ningde and Fuzhou sea areas, while the Xiamen, Putian, and Zhangzhou subareas show low-low clustering, which are low clusters neighbored by low clusters. Among the ML models, the Stacking combined model shows high accuracy, precision, recall, and F1-score values of 0.912, 0.910, 0.912, and 0.904 in predicting whether a grid area is an accident-prone area and 0.750, 0.745, 0.750, and 0.746 in predicting the accident severity in the grid, indicating its superior maritime traffic accident prediction performance. Based on our analysis of the distribution characteristics and geospatial data, our proposed method demonstrates effective and reliable risk prediction.
Original languageEnglish
Article number113106
JournalOcean Engineering
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Accident prediction
  • Fujian sea area
  • Geographical spatial analysis
  • Machine learning
  • Maritime accident


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