Maritime security decision support system based on game theory and case-specific analysis

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Abstract

For so many decades, maritime transportation represented the backbone of global trade and has always been one of the most important political dominance means. In recent years, the world became more reliant on global trade and more demand is observed on under seabed crude oil and natural gas. Furthermore, direct and indirect warfare and political and military dominance take place in strategic waterways of significance to marine navigation. This research aims to; design and develops a Decision Support System that accounts for ship-specific inputs in terms of ships' identity, manoeuvrability, and approach. And reflect that on the Game Theory application to produce strategic countermeasure plan. The research focused on four areas; maritime transportation system, multi-attribute decisionmaking, game theory, and maritime surveillance. The research identified the gap between applying generic decision-making systems based on rigid regulatory guidelines, and the processing of casespecific characteristics exhibited by identified marine threat (e.g. piracy, smuggling, terrorism). Another gap identified through literature critical review in relevant research areas; is that the common solutions presented in maritime security-related decision-making do not follow a strategic approach. Hence, game theory is utilized to present the user with a strategic countermeasure plan to neutralize identified threats. The methodology developed for this research began with collecting relevant data from Jeddah Port, King Abdullah Port, Saudi Arabia Coast Guards, and Saudi Arabia Naval Forces. That data is used to build users' preference structure (i.e. decision-making logic of users) and establish a relationship between threat ships' various attributes. Next, the framework modelled to process threat ships' information (inputs) to find out its' identity score, manoeuvrability characteristics and approaching condition to nearby critical infrastructure; using novel analysis that depicts interrelation among various attributes. The model then takes those three scores, and use them to transform the game theory matrix, using a novel algorithm, from its' generic to its' case-specific form. Lastly, a modified version of IEDS is applied to produce a security countermeasure plan; specifically tailored for the identified threat ship. The model framework was applied on three real distinctive cases; (1) highjacked oil product tanker targeting port facility, (2) Container vessel encountered piracy overtaking attempt, and finally (3) a VLCC arrested and detained for engaging in smuggling activity to the sanctioned facility. As the model produced countermeasure plans relevant to each of those cases, the outputs were validated by domain experts. Subsequently, model-produced countermeasure plans were discussed and efficient in loss/damage mitigation and threat deterrence. Those countermeasure plans did not go strictly by the common code of practice but were mainly focused on choosing strategies that yield highest payoffs, or scored lower loss, against expected threat actions. The models' outputs quality could have been further enhanced; larger datasets added probabilistic and automation functions. Moreover, the model could have incorporated shipboard protocols to be useful for seafarers encountering maritime threat while at sea.
Date of Award15 Sep 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SupervisorIraklis Lazakis (Supervisor) & Rafet Kurt (Supervisor)

Cite this

'