Enhancing short-term vessel trajectory prediction with clustering for heterogeneous and multi-modal movement patterns

Sep 1, 2024·
M. Alam
Gabriel Spadon
Mohammad Etemad
Luis Torgo
E. Milios
Predicting vessel trajectories is crucial for enhancing situational awareness and preventing collisions at sea. However, achieving accurate and efficient predictions is challenging due to the heterogeneity in vessel movement patterns and changes in vessel mobility modes during voyages. To address this, we propose a new approach that uses historical AIS data to cluster route patterns for each vessel type, thereby improving prediction accuracy. By training machine learning algorithms to focus only on similar vessel types, this approach can better predict individual vessel mobility patterns. This approach offers computational advantages by using a relatively small set of trajectories from the nearest cluster of a selected vessel. Both spatial and course attributes are considered to determine the nearest cluster, while engineered features capture changes in vessel mobility modes. Using an AIS dataset from UTM Zone 10N (US West Coast), we achieved distance errors of 370m, 742m, and 1.2km for horizons 10, 20, and 30 min, respectively, using the Random Forest algorithm for short-term trajectory prediction (<= 30 min) with the last 1-hour trajectory of selected vessels as input.
Ocean Engineering