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Computerised navigation is a developing technology in a branch of autonomous and intelligent engineering systems. It aims to enhance safety and security at sea and to improve the reliability of ship-to-ship operations and global marine traffic control. A recently standardised automatic identification system (AIS) takes full advantage of GPS based real-time positioning and timing information of ships. The use of the AIS is steadily growing to meet the needs of the merchant shipping and fishing industries. Nevertheless, a significant decrease in the number of ship accidents and hazardous incidents in open waterways has yet to occur. The work gathered in this paper is to establish a proactive means to prevent marine accidents by the use of the full potential of the AIS. Specifically, this paper describes the development of an AIS synthesis capable navigation support system enhanced with a degree of intelligence built from a physical model suitable to capture the dynamics of group based navigation of ocean-going vessels. The system envisioned is to provide adequate decision making support for group shipping, especially during the critical maneuvering in restricted areas such as channel passing and harbour approaches. Foundations for and experimental results of this study, including an analysis with the simulated traffic of Tokyo Uraga Channel route, are presented.
Date of Publication: September 2009