A Multiobjective Optimization Approach for COLREGs-compliant Path Planning of Autonomous Surface Vehicles Verified on Networked Bridge Simulators

Liang Hu, Wasif Naeem, Eshan Rajabally, Graham Watson, Terry Mills, Zakirul Bhuiyan, Craig Raeburn, Ivor Salter, Claire Pekcan

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This paper presents a multiobjective optimisation approach for path planning of autonomous surface vehicles (ASVs). A unique feature of the technique is the unification of the Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGs) with good seamanship’s practice alongwith hierarchical (rather than simultaneous) inclusion of objectives. The requirements of collision avoidance are formulated as mathematical inequalities and constraints in the optimisation framework and thus collision-free manoeuvres and COLREGs-compliant behaviours are provided in a seafarerlike way. Specific expert knowledge is also taken into account when designing the multiobjective optimisation algorithm. For example, good seamanship reveals that if allowed, an evasive manoeuvre with course changes is always preferred over one with speed changes in practical maritime navigation. As a result, a hierarchical sorting rule is designed to prioritize the objective of course/speed change preference over other objectives such as path length and path smoothness, and then incorporated into a specific evolutionary algorithm called hierarchical multiobjective particle swarm optimisation (H-MOPSO) algorithm. The HMOPSO algorithm solves the real-time path planning problem through finding solutions of the formulated optimisation problem. The effectiveness of the proposed H-MOPSO algorithm is demonstrated through both desktop and high-fidelity networked bridge simulations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1167-1179
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems
Issue number3
Early online date09 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


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