Decision support for response selection in maritime law enforcement

Colmant, Alexandre (2016-12)

Thesis (Dphil)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In the context of maritime law enforcement (MLE), a human operator is typically required to make a variety of counter-threat decisions following the detection and evaluation of threats at sea. These decisions reside within a so-called response selection process during which MLE resources, such as patrol vessels, military vessels and armed helicopters, have to be dispatched to intercept maritime vessels that are deemed potential threats. Because the number of potential maritime threats can be overwhelming and the nature of the decision process is typically complex, the quality of resource assignment decisions can be improved signi cantly by providing maritime operators with computerised decision support. A generic, semi-automated MLE response selection and resource routing decision support system (DSS) is designed in this dissertation. This DSS is capable of assisting human operators in spatio-temporal resource dispatch decision making so that MLE resources may be employed effectively and efficiently. These decisions are made based on kinematic vessel-related data obtained from associated threat detection and threat evaluation systems, as well as subjective input data contributed by MLE response selection operators. Fully automated decision making is therefore not pursued; the aim of this study is to establish a support tool for an operator. Multiple response selection objectives are accommodated in the proposed DSS in a generic manner, so as to provide users of the system with the freedom of con guring their own, preferred goals. This generic DSS design is populated with examples of models capable of performing the functions of the various constituent parts of the system, and their workability is tested and demonstrated by solving the MLE response selection problem in the context of two realistic, but simulated, MLE scenarios. The MLE DSS proposed in this dissertation may be used in future to assist maritime operators in their complex decision making processes. In particular, operators may use it as a guideline to validate and/or justify their decisions, especially when the level of uncertainty pertaining to the observed maritime scenario is high and/or only parts of the problem may be resolved by hand. Use of this system in a real-world context is expected to reduce the stress levels of operators typically associated with diffcult decisions, while simultaneously improving the overall quality of MLE decisions in an integrated fashion.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In die konteks van maritieme wetstoepassing (MWT) word daar tipies van 'n menslike operateur verwag om, in reaksie op die opsporing en evaluering van maritieme bedreigings, 'n verskeidenheid besluite te neem waarvolgens hierdie bedreigings geneutraliseer kan word. Hierdie besluite vind plaas binne 'n sogenaamde MWT-responsseleksieproses waartydens MWT-hulpbronne, soos patrolliebote, milit^ere skepe en gewapende helikopters, ontplooi moet word om maritieme vaartuie wat as bedreigings beskou word, te onderskep. Aangesien die aantal potensi ele maritieme bedreigings oorweldigend kan wees en die aard van die MWT-besluitnemingsproses tipies kompleks is, kan die kwaliteit van hulpbrontoedelingsbesluite noemenswaardig verhoog word deur maritieme operateurs met gerekenariseerde besluitsteun te bedien. 'n Generiese, gedeeltelik ge-outomatiseerde besluitsteunstelsel (BSS) word in hierdie dissertatie vir MWT-responsseleksie en hulpbronroetering ontwerp. Hierdie BSS is daartoe in staat om menslike operateurs met e ektiewe en doeltre ende besluitsteun in terme van die ontplooiing van MWT-hulpbronne oor tyd en ruimte te bedien. Hierdie besluite word gemaak gebaseer op kinematiese vaartuigdata wat vanuit gepaardgaande BSSe vir bedreigingsopsporing en bedreigingsafskatting verkry word, sowel as subjektiewe toevoerdata vanaf MWT-responsseleksie operateurs. Ten volle ge-outomatiseerde besluitneming word dus nie nagestreef nie; die doel van hierdie studie is om 'n steunstelsel vir 'n menslike operateur daar te stel. 'n Verskeidenheid responsseleksiedoele word in die voorgestelde BSS op 'n generiese wyse geak kommodeer om sodoende aan gebruikers die vryheid te bied om hul eie voorkeurdoele te spesi seer. Hierdie generiese BSS-ontwerp word vergesel met voorbeelde van modelle waarvolgens die verskeie funksionaliteite van die onderskeie stelselkomponente gerealiseer kan word, en hulle werkbaarheid word aan die hand van twee realistiese, maar gesimuleerde, MWT-scenarios getoets en gedemonstreer. Die MWT BSS wat in hierdie dissertatie voorgestel word, mag in die toekoms gebruik word om maritieme operateurs in hulle komplekse besluitprosesse by te staan. In die besonder kan operateurs die stelsel as 'n riglyn gebruik om hul besluite te valideer of te regverdig, veral wanneer die vlak van onsekerheid onderliggend aan die maritieme scenario hoog is en/of slegs dele van die MWT-responsseleksieprobleem met die hand oplosbaar is. Daar word verwag dat gebruik van hierdie slelsel in die praktyk die stresvlakke van operateurs as gevolg van moeilike MWT-besluite noemenswaardig kan verlaag, en terselfdertyd die oorkoepelende kwaliteit van MWT-besluite op 'n geïntegreerde wyse kan verbeter.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/100066
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