Optimizing the joint collision avoidance operations of multiple ships from an overall perspective

Shijie Li, Jialun Liu, Rudy R. Negenborn, Feng Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Ship collision is the main type of maritime accidents, which causes great losses on human lives and economy, and brings negative impacts to the maritime environment. In crowded waters such as the sea area near a seaport, multiple ships encountering situations happen frequently. While several methods have been proposed for solving multiple ships collision avoidance problem, most research focuses on the safety guarantee and time-availability of anti-collision decisions, and less attention is paid on improving the efficiency of collision avoidance maneuvers. This paper proposes a rolling horizon optimization approach for multiple ships from a global optimal perspective, with the aim to minimize the time costs and course angle alterations of the anti-collision operations. A ship maneuverability model is used to make predictions and calculations of inter-ship collision risks, upon which an overall optimization problem is formulated. Continuous time is divided into a set of discrete time slots, and an iterative optimization procedure is carried out to determine the optimal course angles for the ships at each time slot. A PID heading controller is designed to implement the optimal course angles. When collision risks among ships no longer exist, the optimization procedure terminates. To evaluate the performance of the proposed approach, simulation experiments regarding 7-ships and 12-ships encounter situations are carried out.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106511
Number of pages16
JournalOcean Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Collision avoidance
  • Decision support
  • Maritime transportation
  • Ship navigation

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