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Predicting maritime accident consequence scenarios for emergency response decisions using optimization-based decision tree approach

Baode Li, Jing Lu, Han Lu and Jing Li

Maritime Policy & Management, 2023, vol. 50, issue 1, 19-41

Abstract: Emergency response decision-making for maritime accidents needs to consider the possible consequences and scenarios of an accident to develop an effective emergency response strategy to reduce the severity of the accident. This paper proposes a novel machine learning-based methodology for predicting accident scenarios and analysing its factors to assist emergency response decision-making from an emergency rescue perspective. Specifically, the accident data used are collected from maritime accident investigation reports, and then two types of decision tree (DT) algorithms, classification and regression tree (CART) and random forest (RF), are used to develop scenario prediction models for three accident consequences including ship damage, casualty, and environmental damage. The hyper-parameters of these two DT algorithms are optimized using two state-of-the-art optimization algorithms, namely random search (RS) and Bayesian optimization (BO), respectively, aiming to obtain the prediction model with the highest accuracy. Experimental results reveal that BO-RF algorithm produces the best accuracy as compared to others. In addition, an analysis of feature importance shows that the number of people involved in an accident is the most important driving factor affecting the final accident scenario. Finally, decision rules are generated from the obtained optimal prediction model, which can provide decision support for emergency response decisions.

Date: 2023
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DOI: 10.1080/03088839.2021.1959074

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