AIS in maritime research

AIS in maritime research – new paper

A new research article is published in the journal Marine Policy. This paper provides an overview of how Automatic Identification System (AIS) can be used in different areas of maritime research. AIS data can be incorporated in various types of modelling approaches and play a small or large role as a source of data. AIS data can also be validated or used to validate research from other data sources. The researchers have identified and presents ten different research areas in which AIS is used today. In the future they propose making use of AIS data also in other research fields. Many stakeholders can benefit from the research in which AIS data is used.

- “This paper has identified that there are at least ten different research areas in which AIS is used today; (1) Traffic, (2) Logistics and transport economy, (3) Monitoring, (4) Collisions, (5) Emission, (6) Oil spills, (7) Noise, (8) Interaction with whales, (9) Fishing, and (10) Ice.”, says Ph.D. Martin Svanberg, researcher at SSPA and one of the authors.

AIS data can be used in a variety of methods from straightforward mapping of traffic to use in various types of simulation and optimization models. Moreover, AIS has a very different role in various papers, as it can be used as the only source of data, can be combined, can be used as an alternative source of data, and can be validated against or used to validate the results from other sources of data. Furthermore, AIS-based research can benefit a large variety of actors ranging from governments, authorities, and NGOs to various individual actors such as administrators of shipping companies and ports. 

With respect to future research, it is proposed that making use of AIS data in other research fields, making greater use of the variety of AIS messages as well as combining AIS with other sources of data, and extending both spatial and temporal perspectives are avenues of research with potentially greater impact. Nevertheless, research on the technical challenges of the AIS data system, e.g. coverage as well as developing the actual AIS system, should not be overlooked.

This research has received financial support from the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems, Interreg Öresund-Kattegat-Skagerrak and the European Regional Development Fund.

The article - AIS in maritime research

Authors: From SSPA; Martin Svanberg, Vendela Santén, Axel Hörteborn, Christian Finnsgård and from Svenska beräkningsbyrån; Henrik Holm.
Published: Marine Policy. Available online 16 May 2019.
Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2019.103520

Abstract: Although not originally developed for research use, the Automatic Identification System (AIS) enables its data to be used in research. The present paper provides a structured overview of how AIS data is used for various research applications. Ten areas have been identified, spread across maritime, marine and other journals. Many stakeholders beyond the most frequently mentioned – authorities and maritime administrations – can benefit from the research in which AIS data is used. AIS data can be incorporated in various types of modelling approaches and play a small or large role as a source of data. AIS data can also be validated or used to validate research from other data sources. Although a large amount of AIS-based research adds to the literature, there is still a large potential for using AIS data for research by making greater use of the variety in AIS messages, combining AIS with other sources of data, and extending both spatial and temporal perspectives.

Illustration

AIS data can be used in a variety of methods from straightforward mapping of traffic to use in various types of simulation and optimization models. Illustration: SSPA Sweden.