Using Multi-agent Simulation to Improve the Security of Maritime Transit

Despite their use for modeling traffic in ports and regional waters, multi-agent simulations have not yet been applied to model maritime traffic on a global scale. We therefore propose a fully agent-based, data-driven model of global maritime traffic, focusing primarily on modeling transit through piracy-affected waters. The model employs finite state machines to represent the behavior of several classes of vessels and can accurately replicate global shipping patterns and approximate real-world distribution of pirate attacks. We apply the model to the problem of optimizing the Gulf of Aden group transit. The results demonstrate the usefulness of agent-based modeling for evaluating and improving operational counter-piracy policies and measures.