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IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON VEHICULAR TECHNOLOGY, VOL. 63, NO. 4, MAY 2014

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Solutions to the Failures and Limitations of Mamdani Fuzzy Inference in Ship Navigation

Lokukaluge P. Perera, J. P. Carvalho, Member, IEEE , and C. Guedes Soares

Abstract—This paper proposes a methodology for overcoming Mamdani-type inference failures on a fuzzy-logic-based decision- making process applied to collision avoidance in ship nav- igation. The fuzzy inference failures are observed in three distinct situations: 1) intersected contradictory decision bound- aries; 2) an improper transition region between the inference boundaries of nonintersected contradictory decisions; and 3) con- tradictory decision accumulation under multiple obstacle scenar- ios. The solutions for overcoming these fuzzy inference failures and their limitations are also discussed in this paper. The proposed solutions consist of insertion of smooth transition regions, deter- mination of the proper size of the smooth transition regions, and use of multilevel decision/action formulations. Furthermore, this paper analyzes a decision-making process for ship navigation, derives input and output fuzzy membership functions (FMFs), for- mulates an IF THEN -rule-based fuzzy inference system (FIS), and presents simulation results that support recovery from rule inference failures in several contradictory decision boundary conditions.

Index Terms—Contradictory decision inference, decision sup- port systems, Mamdani fuzzy inference failure, maritime trans- portation, ship collision avoidance.

I. I NTRODUCTION

T HE USE of Mamdani-fuzzy-rule-based inference in navigation/steering systems has been previously proposed

and extensively applied. However, this solution exhibits several problems that may become critical when applied in real-world systems. These problems arise in three different situations that have been identified in this paper. One of these situations is very well known, i.e., the problem of failures due to inferred contradictory decisions. For example, in the presence of a target located straight ahead on a region covered by two fuzzy rules

Manuscript received May 18, 2013; revised September 7, 2013; accepted October 23, 2013. Date of publication November 4, 2013; date of current version May 8, 2014. This work was supported in part by the Foundation for Science and Technology of Portugal (FCT) through Project “Methodology for Ships Manoeuvrability Tests with Self-Propelled Models” under Contract PTDC/TRA/74332/2006. The work of L. P. Perera was supported by the FCT through a doctoral fellowship under Contract SFRH/BD/46270/2008. The work of J. P. Carvalho was supported in part by the FCT under Project PEst-OE/ EEI/LA0021/2013. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the IEEE Ninth International Conference on Industrial Informatics, Lisbon, Portugal, July 2011. The review of this paper was coordinated by Dr. M. S. Ahmed. L. P. Perera and C. Guedes Soares are with the Center for Ma- rine Technology and Engineering, Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon, Lisbon 1049-001, Portugal (e-mail: prasad.perera@mar.ist.utl.pt; guedess@mar.ist.utl.pt). J. P. Carvalho is with the Institute of Systems and Computer Engineering– Research and Development in Lisbon, Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon, Lisbon 1649-004, Portugal (e-mail: joao.carvalho@inesc-id.pt). Color versions of one or more of the figures in this paper are available online at http://ieeexplore.ieee.org. Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TVT.2013.2288306

where one rule states “turn left” and the other “turn right,” the decisions cancel each other out, and the vehicle goes straight ahead. From here on, we shall refer to this case as “Situation I:

intersected contradictory decision boundaries.” Although the other two situations are not commonly ad- dressed in the literature, they can also result in catastrophic failures in real-world systems; these distinct situations usually occur in the presence of stationary/moving multiple targets, even if this is not a necessary condition, on 2-D navigation/ steering systems. Such situations can occur when an obstacle is in close range due to the fact that small linear distances traveled either by a moving obstacle or the own vehicle can correspond to large angular movements of the obstacle when seen from the own vehicle. Therefore, the apparent position of the obstacle may quickly cross through the several angular fuzzy regions used to infer the decision-making process. For example, in two consecutive iterations, the moving obstacle can pass from a region where the correct inferred decision was “turn left” to a region where the decision is “turn right;” as a result, the system jumps between contradictory decisions. A navigation system where inertia is a factor (basically, all real-world large-vessel navigation systems fall in such situations) may not quickly respond to such decision changes, and the time delay associated with the system response may cause an erratic, undesirable, and possibly dangerous behavior. This situation will be referred to as “Situation II: improper transition region between the infer- ence boundaries of nonintersected contradictory decisions.” The final situation, “Situation III: contradictory decision accumulation in multiple targets scenarios,” occurs when con- tradictory decisions can cancel each other out due to the pres- ence of multiple stationary or moving targets. This situation is commonly observed in what can be referred to as “single- level” fuzzy-rule-based decision-making systems, i.e., systems where fuzzy input and output variables are directly connected by inference rules. One can theoretically solve this problem by increasing the rule base size as long as the number of moving obstacles is limited and known in advance; however, this is rarely possible or practical since scalability becomes an issue due to the problem of combinatorial rule explosion. This paper proposes and describes several requirements that can be applied to overcoming the given situations and therefore prevent the inherent system failures. They include the following.

1) The navigation system should be equipped with a mini- mum of two fuzzy output decisions (e.g., course/heading change and speed change). 2) There should be proper formulation of decisions in the input and output linguistic terms and respective fuzzy

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IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON VEHICULAR TECHNOLOGY, VOL. 63, NO. 4, MAY 2014

membership functions (FMFs), i.e., common boundary points or regions between contradictory decisions should be avoided in both input and output FMFs. 3) If a common boundary between regions that indicate contradictory decisions is unavoidable, then a smooth transition region should be inserted. 4) When a smooth transition region between common boundary points or regions of contradictory decisions is necessary, then its proper size should be discussed to prevent Situation II, i.e., an improper transition region between the inference boundaries of nonintersected con- tradictory decisions. 5) A “multilevel” decision/action process should be used to avoid Situation III, i.e., contradictory decision accumulation.

This paper illustrates the three previously discussed types of inference rule failures and the solutions to be implemented on ocean navigation to improve safety by avoiding collision situations. To overcome the inference rule failures, the insertion of a smooth transition region between intersected contradic- tory decision inference boundaries and a geometrical relation to determine its proper size are proposed. Furthermore, to overcome the accumulated decision failures, we propose a “multilevel” decision-action process composed of a fuzzy- logic-based parallel decision-making (PDM) module whose decisions are formulated into sequential actions by a Bayesian- network-based module.

II. R ELATED W ORK

A. Decision-Making Processes

Human-type decision-making plays an important role in modern industrial applications. Therefore, several experimental platforms and industrial applications are formulated to sim- ulate human decision-making capabilities. Although human decision-making capabilities go beyond single-criterion situa- tions, it is widely accepted that humans have more limitations in multicriteria decision-making situations. However, humans have better perceptions of time, direction, speed, shape and possibility, likelihood, truth, and other attributes of physical and mental objects when compared with artificial computational technology [1]. Since computers are of great help when dealing with crisp precise data, whereas humans are better adapted to deal with perceptions and uncertain data, the integration of human perceptions into multicriteria computational technology could be the ultimate objective in next-generation decision- making processes in machine learning technology. Decision-making processes, as reviewed in recent litera- ture, are usually divided into single-criterion decision-making (SCDM) and multicriteria decision-making (MCDM). MCDM can be defined as a study of methods and procedures by which concerns about multiple conflicting criteria. That can be formally incorporated into the management planning process [2] and can be further divided into individual decision-making

B. Fuzzy-Logic-Based Decision-Making

Fuzzy-logic-based systems, which are formulated on the human type of thinking [7], are well known for facilitat- ing a human-friendly environment during a decision-making process. Hence, several fuzzy-logic-based decision-making systems have been developed in research and commercial ap- plications to fulfill the technological requirements inspired by human behavior in decision-making [8]. The human under- standing of relationships among objects and/or situations in decision-making are illustrated using various fuzzy functions in [9] and [10], both based on Takagi–Sugeno–Kang-type and Mamdani-type fuzzy inference systems (FISs). Decision-making processes formulated to simulate human decision-making capabilities are extensively influenced on the area of autonomous navigation. The main objectives of a nav- igation system decision-making process are to avoid static and dynamic targets and to reach the expected final destination. Therefore, intelligent decision-making capabilities ultimately influence the survivability and success of the autonomous nav- igation system. Fuzzy-logic-based approaches for autonomous navigation systems have been widely considered in several recent studies. A fuzzy-target-based soft decision for mobile vehicles in dy- namic environment is proposed in [11], where a navigation tra- jectory for the final destination is selected from all possible via points learned during its navigation. Similarly, a fuzzy-logic- based algorithm for path selection in autonomous vehicle navi- gation is proposed in [12]. The drawbacks of the given methods come from the fact that they were implemented in limited and constrained environmental models, causing the decision- making process to be less effective and time-consuming in larger navigation spaces. Seraji and Howard present in [13] a fuzzy logic approach to behavior-based robot navigation on challenging terrain. Seraji and Bon [14] also presented a study for autonomous navigation of planetary rovers using a fuzzy logic framework. These systems consist of multiple behavior capabilities: goal seeking, terrain traversing, and collision avoidance. Fatmi et al. propose a similar approach of fuzzy logic for mobile robot navigation in [15]. Fuzzy-logic-based navigation controllers for a mobile robot where the input and output FMFs for steering and speed commands are expressed by linguistic values are proposed and implemented in [16] and [17]. However, all the mentioned systems were implemented under limited obstacle behavior and/or stationary environmental conditions. Fuzzy decision-making processes in mobile robot navigation under dynamic environmental conditions are presented in [18] and [19]. The fuzzy decision-making process in these studies consists of two algorithms for “obstacles avoidance” and “tar- get following.” The drawback to this approach is that fuzzy inference rule failures can occur due to Situation I, as described earlier. Usually, fuzzy-rule-based decision-making processes are formalized assuming a “single-level” system. However, it is

and group decision-making [3]. However, the approaches in possible to formulate the multiple identities within a sys-

SCDM and MCDM could be further classified into determin- istic, stochastic, and fuzzy control methods [4]–[6].

tem using different sets of rules, as proposed in [20], and a multiple-behavior-based fuzzy control for sonar-based obstacle

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avoidance of a mobile robot is presented in [21]. Although

these studies facilitated a multiple-behavior-based fuzzy control

approach, they still suffer from the accumulated decision can-

celation situations between the nonintersected-contradictory-

decision inference regions of a “single-level” fuzzy-logic-based

system (i.e., Situation III), as further discussed in this paper.

C. Fuzzy-Logic-Based Collision Avoidance Decisions

Collision avoidance facilities for an autonomous ocean navi-

gation system with intelligent decision-making capabilities are

considered as a case study in this paper. The applications and

recent developments of autonomous ocean navigation systems

are summarized in [22]–[26]. However, the law of the sea

has been ignored by most of these studies. Theoretically, all

ocean-going vessels should follow the law of the sea when

trying to avoid collision situations. The current law of the sea

was introduced by the International Maritime Organization in

1972 by the Convention on the International Regulations for

Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGs) [27], [28].

Fuzzy-logic-based collision avoidance systems (CASs) for

ship navigation are proposed in [29]–[31]. However, several

drawbacks are observed in these implementations. The pro-

posed studies are limited to two-vessel collision situations, the

COLREGs rules and regulations and expert knowledge in ocean

navigation are ignored, and the system inputs and outputs are

directly related by fuzzy rules (single-level systems). Therefore,

the systems’ capabilities to overcome complex multivessel

collision situations are limited.

III. C OLLISION AVOIDANCE IN S HIP N AVIGATION

A. Multivessel Collision Situation

A multivessel collision situation is shown in Fig. 1. The

own vessel, i.e., the vessel that is equipped with the pro-

posed CAS, is located at point O (k ) (x o (k ), y o (k )). The

target vessels are located at points P 1 (k ), P 2 (k ),

...

,P i (k )

with various navigational trajectories, respectively. The own

vessel trajectory will intercept the target vessel trajectories

around points C 1 (k ), C 2 (k ),

...

,C

n (k ) at the time instants

T 1 (k ), T 2 (k ),

...

n (k ), respectively.

,T

The ith target vessel that needs to be avoided is located

at point P i (k ) (x i (k ), y i (k )). The ith target vessel estimated

relative trajectory P i (k )B i (k ) will intercept the own vessel

domain at the closest point B i (k ). Therefore, the closest dis-

tance between the vessels in a collision situation is represented

as R DCPA (k ). The two-vessel collision point is represented

by C i (k ), with the ith target vessel distance to the collision

point R ci (k ). The own vessel speed and course conditions

are represented by V o (k ) and ψ o (k ), respectively. The ith

target vessel speed and course conditions are represented by

PERERA et al. : SOLUTIONS TO FAILURES AND LIMITATIONS OF MAMDANI FUZZY INFERENCE 1541 avoidance of

Fig. 1. Multivessel collision situation.

  • B. Collision Avoidance System

A block diagram of the proposed CAS is shown in Fig. 2.

The CAS consists of five sections: 1) a vessel traffic monitoring

and information system (VTMIS); 2) a collision risk assessment

(CRA) module; 3) a PDM module; 4) a sequential action

formation (SAF) module; and 5) an own vessel control system

(VCS). The inputs into the VTMIS are the position of the own

vessel and the positions of the target vessels.

The VTMIS consists of four sections: 1) a sensor unit; 2) a

vessel detection and tracking (VDT) module; 3) a vessel state

estimation and trajectory prediction (VSETP) module; and

4) an intervessel communication module. The sensor unit (i.e.,

radar and laser applications) acquires the real-time position

data of the target vessels. Then, the target vessels’ data are

used in the VDT module to identify and to track each target

vessel separately using these data. The VSETP module uses

the collected tracking data to estimate vessel states and to

predict each target vessel’s trajectory. Finally, the intervessel

communication unit distributes the previous information among

vessels (i.e., own vessel communication unit) and shore-based

centers. Extensive details on the VTMIS have been presented

in [32].

The main objective of the CRA module is to evaluate the

collision risk of each target vessel with respect to the own

vessel navigation. This is achieved by the relative course–speed

estimation unit and by the time and place until collision es-

timation unit. More details on the CRA module have been

presented in [33]–[35]. The inputs into the CRA module are the

V i (k ) and ψ i (k ). The ith target vessel bearing and colli- measured/estimated position data of the own vessel and target

sion point relative bearing (CPRB) conditions are represented

by θ i (k ) and θ ci,o (k ), respectively. The relative course and

speed conditions of the ith target vessel are represented by

ψ i,o (k ) and V i,o (k ).

vessels. The output of the CRA module is the time until the

collision situation T i (k ) of the ith target vessel, which in turn

is the input of the SAF module. The PDM module consists

of a fuzzy-logic-based decision-making process that generates

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1542 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON VEHICULAR TECHNOLOGY, VOL. 63, NO. 4, MAY 2014 Fig. 2. Block diagram

Fig. 2. Block diagram for the CAS.

1542 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON VEHICULAR TECHNOLOGY, VOL. 63, NO. 4, MAY 2014 Fig. 2. Block diagram

Fig. 3. Mathematical formulation of a two-vessel collision situation.

parallel collision avoidance decisions D i (k ), with respect to

each target vessel.

On the next step, the parallel ith decision of collision avoid-

ance D i (k ) is forwarded from the PDM module to the SAF

module. The main objective of the SAF module is to organize

the parallel decisions made by the PDM module into sequential

actions A i (k ), while taking into consideration the time until

the collision situation T i (k ) from the CRA module. The A i (k )

actions are divided into course and speed control actions to be

implemented on the course control and speed control subsys-

tems of the own VCS.

The collision avoidance actions A i (k ) formulated by the

SAF module act as “second-level” decisions regarding the

fuzzy-logic-based decisions D i (k ) formulated in the PDM

module. Actions A i (k ) are designed to overcome contradictory

accumulated rule inference failures (Situation III). The PDM

model is further discussed in Section IV and more details

regarding the fuzzy-Bayesian-based decision–action formula-

tions in ship navigation can be found in [35].

IV. F UZZY L OGIC A PPROACH

The overall design process of the fuzzy-logic-based decision-

making process described in this paper can be resumed in the

following five steps: 1) identification of fuzzy input and output

system variables; 2) creation of FMFs for each input and output

system variables; 3) formulation of the FIS IF THEN fuzzy

rules; and 4) defuzzification of the decisions. However, these

input and output system variables are derived by considering a

two-vessel collision situation that is shown in Fig. 3.

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PERERA et al. : SOLUTIONS TO FAILURES AND LIMITATIONS OF MAMDANI FUZZY INFERENCE 1543 Fig. 4.
Fig. 4. Range FMF.
Fig. 4. Range FMF.
Fig. 5. Bearing FMF.
Fig. 5. Bearing FMF.
Fig. 6. Relative course FMF. Fig. 7. Speed ratio FMF.
Fig. 6.
Relative course FMF.
Fig. 7.
Speed ratio FMF.

A. Fuzzy Membership Functions

The PDM module executes fuzzy inferences in the decision-

making process (see Fig. 2). The module consists of three

main units: 1) a fuzzification unit, 2) a fuzzy-rule unit, and

3) a defuzzification unit. The input fuzzy variables, and the

respective FMFs are range FMF (see Fig. 4), bearing FMF

(see Fig. 5), relative course FMF (see Fig. 6), and speed ratio

FMF (see Fig. 7). Two output fuzzy variables and respective

FMFs are used in the defuzzification unit of the PDM mod-

ule: course change FMF (see Fig. 8) and speed change FMF

(see Fig. 9). The input and output FMFs are normalized and

have trapezoidal shapes. The respective FMFs in Figs. 4–9

have been reproduced from [35] to improve the readability of

this paper.

The mathematical formulation of a two-vessel collision situa-

PERERA et al. : SOLUTIONS TO FAILURES AND LIMITATIONS OF MAMDANI FUZZY INFERENCE 1543 Fig. 4.
Fig. 8. Course change FMF. Fig. 9. Speed change FMF.
Fig. 8.
Course change FMF.
Fig. 9.
Speed change FMF.

as previously mentioned. The own vessel navigational space is

divided into three circular regions with radius R vd , R b , and R a .

Radius R a represents the approximate range to the target vessel

detection when the own vessel is in a “give way” situation,

(i.e., when the own vessel has a lower navigation priority) and

should take appropriate actions to avoid collision situations.

Radius R b represents the approximate distance to the target

vessel when the own vessel is in a “stand on” situation (with

the higher priority for navigation) but should take appropriate

actions to avoid the collision situation due to the absence of the

appropriate actions from the target vessel. One should note that

the vessel coming from the starboard side has higher priority

for navigation in accordance with the COLREGs rules and reg-

ulations. The radius R vd represents the vessel domain. Dotted

circles separate the regions corresponding with the Range FMF

(see Fig. 4). The R i (k ) represents the range of the ith target

vessel.

The own vessel navigation domain is divided into ten regions

numbered from I to X (see Fig. 3). Each of these regions

corresponds to one of the ten regions in the Bearing FMF (see

Fig. 5). It is assumed that the target vessel is located within

these ten regions, and the collision avoidance decisions are

taken in accordance with the respective regions. Although eight

regions are generally enough to implement the COLREGs rules

and regulations of ocean navigation as presented in [36], ten

regions are proposed to overcome Situation I rule inference

failures, as further discussed in Section VI.

As presented in Fig. 3, the target vessel position II domain is

divided into eight divisions (from II-a to II-h) of relative course

ψ i,o (k ) (see Fig. 1). These divisions are separated by dotted

lines coinciding with the relative course FMF (see Fig. 6). The

higher collision risk regions, i.e., mid (II-e and II-g) and high

(II-f), are also shown in Fig. 6. Finally, the speed ratio FMFs

(see Fig. 7) are used to describe the speed ratio between the

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  • B. Fuzzification Unit

Fuzzification is the process that transforms crisp inputs into

a collection of the input membership degrees to each of the

fuzzy variable linguistic terms. This process is executed in the

fuzzification unit of the PDM module. The inputs from the CRA

module: range R i (k ), bearing θ i (k ), relative course ψ i,o (k ),

and relative speed V i,o (k ) of the ith target vessel are fuzzified in

this unit with respect to the input FMFs, i.e., range FMF R i (k )

(see Fig. 4), bearing FMF θ i (k ) (see Fig. 5), relative course

FMF ψ i,o (k ) (see Fig. 6), and speed ratio FMF V i (k )/V o (k )

(see Fig. 7). The fuzzified results are transferred to the fuzzy

rules unit. A Mamdani-type rule-based FIS is used in this unit.

The min–max norm is the aggregation operation considered in

this paper. In this norm, the minimum operator is considered

for intersection, and the maximum operator is considered for

the union of two fuzzy sets.

  • C. Development of the Fuzzy Rules

The fuzzy rules are formulated in accordance with the rules

and regulations of the COLREGs [27] and expert navigational

knowledge to facilitate a regulated prevention of collision and

to eliminate navigation conflicts. Tables I and II present a

summary of the CRAs, fuzzy rules, and collision avoidance

decisions used in this paper. The tables have been reproduced

from [35] to improve the readability of this paper. The first

column in Table I represents bearing θ i (k ) (Bear.) of the target

vessel, which is divided into ten regions (I–X). The second

column represents the relative course ψ i,o (k ) (Cou.), divided

into eight regions (a to h) of the target vessel orientations.

The collision risk (Risk) assessment with respect to the relative

course is divided into three sections of low risk (low), medium

risk (mid), and high risk (high). Only high and medium colli-

sion risk situations, where the collision avoidance actions must

be executed, are present in Tables I and II. The target vessel

range R i (k ) from R vd to R a and from R a to R b are presented

in the third and fourth columns, respectively.

The third and fourth columns are further divided into two

subcolumns. The relative speed ratio of V i (k )/V o (k ) is pre-

sented in the first subcolumn of the third and fourth main

columns. The speed conditions of V i /V o <, , and > 1 rep-

resent the target vessel speed approximately less than, equal,

and greater than the own vessel speed. Finally, the decisions

that need to be taken to avoid collision situations are presented

in the second subcolumn of the third and fourth columns. The

decisions can be categorized as: course to starboard (δψ o > 0);

course to port (δψ o < 0); no course change (δψ o = 0) increase

speed (δV o > 0); decrease speed (δV o < 0); no speed change

(δV o = 0); and not applicable (NA). A similar organization is

considered for Table II.

TABLE I

CRA S , F UZZY RULES , AND D ECISIONS

1544 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON VEHICULAR TECHNOLOGY, VOL. 63, NO. 4, MAY 2014 B. Fuzzification Unit Fuzzification

Fig. 8) and the speed change FMF (see Fig. 9) to obtain

the course change decisions D δψi (k ) and the speed change

decisions D δV i (k ). These decisions will be formulated for

collision avoidance actions in the own vessel navigation.

The defuzzification process uses the centroid method. In this

method, one calculates the center of gravity of the result-

ing fuzzy set and uses its abscissa as the final result of the

inference.

  • D. Defuzzification Unit

The collision avoidance decisions D i (k ) for each target

vessel are generated by the defuzzification unit, as presented

V. FAILURES IN F UZZY R ULE I NFERENCE

As introduced in Section I, the rule inference failures in

in Fig. 2. The fuzzy inference results from the fuzzy rule fuzzy-logic-based navigation/steering systems can occur in

unit are defuzzified by the output course change FMF (see

three situations: Situation I (intersected contradictory decision

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TABLE II

CRA S , F UZZY RULES , AND D ECISIONS

PERERA et al. : SOLUTIONS TO FAILURES AND LIMITATIONS OF MAMDANI FUZZY INFERENCE 1545 TABLE II

boundaries); Situation II (improper transition region between

the inference boundaries of nonintersected contradictory deci-

sions) and Situation III (contradictory decision accumulation in

multiple targets scenarios).

A. Situation I: Intersected Contradictory

Decision Boundaries

Fig. 10 shows a pictorial example of a possible Situation

I failure if one considers that the own vessel should steer

to port when the target vessel is in region VIII and should

steer to starboard when the target vessel is in region I. If the

target vessel is located in the region where the input FMF that

PERERA et al. : SOLUTIONS TO FAILURES AND LIMITATIONS OF MAMDANI FUZZY INFERENCE 1545 TABLE II

Fig. 10. Fuzzy-rule inference failure due to Situation I.

the defuzzified inference result will be “No Action” due to

the cancelation of the two contradictory decisions (steer to

starboard: δψo > 0; steer to port: δψo < 0) when the centroid

defuzzification method is applied. This decision would possibly

lead to a catastrophic system failure. Notice that, although

the contradictory output FMFs do not intersect, the way that

rules are defined generates contradictory decisions due to the

Mamdani inference mechanism.

Solution: Fuzzy Smooth Transition Region Insertion: The

usual solution for solving this problem consists in using a

higher level decision process to override one of the conflicting

decisions. However, these conflicting decision situations may

not be noticeable in the decision process and almost impossible

to capture the actual positions where these conflicts will occur.

Therefore, usually, there is not a simple universal solution;

therefore, one must consider and prepare the decision process

for every single possible rule-based failure case.

Here, a more elegant and simple solution is proposed, which

basically consists of the insertion of a fuzzy smooth transition

region on the boundary of the regions that have contradic-

tory decisions, as presented in Fig. 11. A smooth transition

region X is inserted between the contradictory decision

regions IX and I. As presented in the figure, the decisions in this

smooth region must not contradict any of the decisions in the

original regions, and in addition, the speed of the own vehicle

should be decreased. As a result of these proactive actions,

the relative position of the target vehicle will automatically

be redirected into either one of the original regions IX or I.

As a result, the CAS will end up executing the collision avoid-

ance decisions of the original regions. This solution is further

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1546 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON VEHICULAR TECHNOLOGY, VOL. 63, NO. 4, MAY 2014 Fig. 11. Fuzzy-rule inference

Fig. 11. Fuzzy-rule inference failure due to Situation II.

B. Situation II: Improper Transition Region Between the

Inference Boundaries of Nonintersected

Contradictory Decisions

As an example, consider a special collision situation ob-

served in this paper regarding the size of the smooth transition

region X (see Fig. 3). This smooth region was necessary due to

the close range intersected contradictory decision boundaries

between regions I and IX. When region X is not properly sized,

Situation II failures might occur if the target vessel transits from

region I into region IX through region X.

To understand the process of designing a proper smooth

region, one should be aware that if no avoidance measures are

taken, when the target vessel is coming from the right end of

a head-on situation (region I), the relative navigation trajectory

converges toward the own vessel domain if there is a collision

risk between vessels, and the relative trajectory diverges from

the target vessel domain when there is no collision risk. Hence,

the size of region X should be designed in such way that the rel-

ative trajectories of the target vessel do not converge from one

region to another region that contains contradictory decisions.

This solution is further discussed regarding the fuzzy-logic-

based decision-making process of the CAS in ship navigation

in Section VI.

C. Situation III: Contradictory Decision Accumulation in

Multiple Targets Scenarios

When observing the ship navigation situation presented in

Fig. 12, it is easy to see that the presence of multiple moving

obstacles can generate catastrophic solutions on a navigation/

steering system since the rules applied in the depicted situation

would be “if the target vessel is in region I, then steer to

starboard” and “if the target vessel is in region IV, then steer to

Fig. 11 further shows a pictorial example of a possible port.” The accumulation of these two contradictory decisions

Situation II failure. Let us assume that, in this case, a smooth

transition region X exists between regions IX and I and that this

region avoids the problem of intersected contradictory decision

boundaries by stating no course change and speed decrease

while the target is in region X. These actions will make the

target vessel move into one of the nonconflict regions I or IX.

However, if the target vessel assumes the relative trajectory

shown in Fig. 11, Situation II failures can occur if region X

size is “improper,” i.e., not wide enough. In such case, the

navigation system decisions can be contradictory in consecutive

(or relatively close) instants resulting on an erratic trajectory

and a possible catastrophic failure since the target vessel might

would once again lead to a no action decision, and the own

vessel would eventually crash into the target vessel in region I.

This situation is categorized as a failure of contradictory deci-

sion accumulation due to multiple stationary or moving targets

and can occur in “single-level” fuzzy-rule-based navigation

systems.

Solution: Multilevel Decision/Action Formulations: The

decision-making process in “single-level” fuzzy-rule-based

systems should be associated with a “secondary-level” decision

process that can automatically overcome rule inference failures

due to multiple stationary or moving targets. In this approach,

one proposes the use of the SAF module (see Fig. 2) as a

not be avoided. Therefore, the selection of a proper fuzzy secondary-level process whose role is to serialize parallel de-

smooth region is an important part of the designing process of

the fuzzy-logic-based system. This solution is further discussed

regarding the fuzzy-logic-based decision-making process of the

CAS in ship navigation in Section VI.

Solution: Proper Sizing of Fuzzy Smooth Transition Regions:

In general, the smaller the size of the smooth transition regions,

the better is the system behavior as it facilitates the system

transition into a better decision-making region. However, since

smaller regions can cause the system to jump between two

contradictory decisions during the avoidance process. To im-

plement two contradictory decisions on the same trajectory,

one must insure that the smooth region is large enough to

avoid contradictory decisions during the avoidance process of a

single target.

cisions taken on the PDM module when in the presence of mul-

tiple moving target vessels. This solution is further discussed

with respect to the Bayesian-network-based SAF module of the

CAS in ship navigation in Section VI.

VI. S OLUTIONS TO THE FAILURES AND I TS L IMITATIONS

Although the three rule inference failures of the FMFs

discussed earlier might rarely occur in ocean navigation, they

cannot be neglected since they usually result in catastrophic

failures. The proposed solutions to overcome fuzzy rule infer-

ence failures in the decision-making process of ocean naviga-

tion are further discussed in the following.

PERERA et al.: SOLUTIONS TO FAILURES AND LIMITATIONS OF MAMDANI FUZZY INFERENCE

1547

PERERA et al. : SOLUTIONS TO FAILURES AND LIMITATIONS OF MAMDANI FUZZY INFERENCE 1547 Fig. 12.

Fig. 12. Fuzzy-rule inference failure due to Situation III.

  • A. Insertion of Fuzzy Smooth Bearing Regions

Consider the mathematical formulation of a two-vessel col-

lision in the ocean navigation situation presented in Fig. 3.

The figure shows the collision avoidance decisions, i.e.,

course change decisions D δψi (k ) and speed change decisions

D δV i (k ), for high-risk collision situations for fuzzy bearing

regions I to X (see Tables I and II), and for the ranges R vd to

R b , and R b to R a in each fuzzy bearing region. The decisions

on fuzzy bearing region I are formulated as course to starboard

(δψ o > 0) and no speed change (δV o = 0). In region II, the de-

cisions are course to starboard (δψ o > 0) and decrease speed

(δV o < 0). Therefore, there are no contradictory decisions in

the intersection of both regions.

In region IV, the decisions are course to port (δψ o < 0)

and decrease speed (δV o < 0). Region III was introduced as

a smooth transition region between regions II an IV with

decisions no course change (δψ o = 0) and decrease speed

(δV o < 0). The region was made proper through the use of

Fig. 3, as further discussed in following. In region V, range

R vd to R b , the decisions are course to port (δψ o < 0) and no

speed change (δV o = 0), and in the range of R b to R a , the

decisions are no course change (δψ o = 0) and no speed change

(δV o = 0). With the insertion of fuzzy smooth region III, all the

collision avoidance decision transitions in the right half of the

decision space are smooth, and no contradictory decisions exist.

A similar approach was followed in the left half of the decision

space, where regions VI and X were introduced as smoothing

regions.

B. Determination of Proper Sizing of Fuzzy Smooth

Bearing Regions

One should note that this type of fuzzy inference failure is

only observed in the left half of the decision-making process in

own vessel regions XI, X and I, and is due to the fuzzy rules

that were previously defined in accordance with the COLREGs

rules and regulations. As shown in Fig. 3, line O (k )B (k )

separates regions I and X, and line O (k )D (k ) separates regions

X and IX. The line O (k )D (k ) intercepts the own vessel domain

at point C (k ). There is a collision risk if any relative trajectories

of the target vessel starting from region I converge into the own

vessel domain. The straight line B (k )E (k ) represents the left-

end relative navigation trajectory starting from region I that

neither converges nor diverges from the own vessel domain.

Hence, all the relative navigational trajectories of the target

vessel in the region I with collision risk stay on the left side

of line B (k )E (k ). The line B (k )E (k ) intercepts the own vessel

domain at point E (k ). Hence, that should be used as a guideline

regarding whether the collision risk increases or decreases in a

collision situation in region I.

To ensure that the relative trajectories starting from region I

never enter region IX (preventing two contradictory decisions

in the same obstacle avoidance process), the line B (k )E (k )

should never cross region IX in the R b R a range. This is

achieved if point C (k ) is always to the left of point E (k ).

Hence, the minimum size of region X should be given by

C (k ) E (k ). These conditions can be formulated into geo-

metrical relationships among regions I, IX, and X. Considering

the triangle of O (k )B (k )E (k ) with C (k ) E (k ), the sine rule

can be written as

R a

sin(180 κ 6 κ 7 )

=

R vd

sin(κ

7 ) .

(1)

Since E (k )B (k ) is a straight line parallel to the Y o axis and

angle κ 1 is symmetric around the Y o axis, the angle condition

κ 7 = κ 1 /2 and (1) becomes

κ 6 = 180 sin 1

vd sin(κ 1 /2)

R

a

R

κ 1

  • 2 (2)

.

Hence, the minimum size requirement for a proper smooth

transition region X in Fig. 3 is related to the size of the

contradictory decision regions I and IX that motivated the

creation of smooth region X. One should once again note that

if the region is smaller than the derived size, system decisions

can jump between contradictory decisions and/or two contra-

dictory decisions may be implemented on the same navigational

trajectory.

1548

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON VEHICULAR TECHNOLOGY, VOL. 63, NO. 4, MAY 2014

1548 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON VEHICULAR TECHNOLOGY, VOL. 63, NO. 4, MAY 2014 Fig. 13. Course and

Fig. 13. Course and speed collision avoidance actions.

C. Multilevel Decision/Action Formulations in

Ocean Navigation

In the proposed system, the SAF module (see Fig. 2) is

proposed as a “second-level” process that overcomes failures

due to contradictory decision accumulation in multiple obstacle

scenarios by the PDM module. The main objective of the

SAF module is to transform the parallel collision avoidance

decisions that are generated by the PDM module into sequential

actions that can be executed in the own vessel navigation system

while eliminating the mentioned failures. This can be achieved

by collecting from the PDM module the multiple collision

avoidance decisions, D i (k ) (D δψi (k ), D δV i (k )), and eval-

uating them using the time until the collision situation T i (k )

from the CRA module regarding each target vessel. Final results

are arranged as a sequential formation of actions A i (k )

(A δψi (k ), A δV i (k )) involving the course and speed actions at

given time instants T i (k ) (T δψi (k ), T δV i (k )). Fig. 13 gives

an example of the accumulated process of sequential course

and speed action execution. D δψi (k ) and D δV i (k ), and A δψi (k )

and A δV i (k ) represent the course and speed change deci-

sions and actions, respectively. This approach eliminates the

cancelation of contradictory decisions due to decision/action

accumulation.

The SAF module consists of a continuous Bayesian network

that is formulated to update the parallel collision avoidance

decisions into sequential actions that will execute at appropriate

time instants (see Fig. 2). As presented in the figure, the SAF

module consists of four nodes: 1) collision time estimation,

2) collision risk, 3) action delay, and 4) collision avoidance

actions. The inputs of the SAF module are the collision

decisions D i (k ) and time until the collision situation T i (k )

which generated, respectively, by the PDM and CRA modules

(see Section III-B).

The main objective of the time until collision estimation

node is to estimate the time until the collision situation T i (k )

between the own vessel and each of the target vessels. The

node collision risk estimation inferences the collision risk with

respect to each target vessel considering the collision time

estimation. The action delay node is designed to formulate the

appropriate time to take collision avoidance actions. The action

delay node, the collision risk estimation node, and the collision

avoidance decisions are used to infer the collision avoidance

action formulation node. The mathematical derivation of the

1548 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON VEHICULAR TECHNOLOGY, VOL. 63, NO. 4, MAY 2014 Fig. 13. Course and

Fig. 14. Relative trajectories for CPRB 270 to 360 .

Bayesian-network-based SAF module, inferences and their as-

sociated functions are further described in [35].

VII. C OMPUTATIONAL S IMULATIONS

The CAS is implemented on the MATLAB software plat-

form. The following values are assigned for the FMF param-

eters of the PDM module.

Range FMF (see Fig. 4): R vd 1 nmi, R b 6 nmi, R A

10 nmi.

Bearing FMF (see Fig. 5): κ 1 10 , κ 2 80 , κ 3 10 ,

κ 4 80 , κ 5 26 , and κ 6 26 .

Relative course FMF values (see Fig. 6): ν 1 5 , ν 2 5 ,

and ν 3 5 .

Speed ratio FMF (see Fig. 7): f χ 1 0.8, χ 2 1.2, and

χ 3 5.

Course change output FMFs (see Fig. 8): ι 1 10 , and

ι 2 40 .

• Speed change output FMF (see Fig. 9): ϑ 1 2, and

 

ϑ 2 10.

The FMF parameters were derived considering various colli-

sion avoidance situations under the simulated conditions.

  • A. Proper Fuzzy Smooth Region Insertion Simulations

Figs. 14–16 regard a two-vessel collision situation and

present the simulations of the relative trajectories of the target

PERERA et al.: SOLUTIONS TO FAILURES AND LIMITATIONS OF MAMDANI FUZZY INFERENCE

1549

PERERA et al. : SOLUTIONS TO FAILURES AND LIMITATIONS OF MAMDANI FUZZY INFERENCE 1549 Fig. 15.

Fig. 15.

Relative trajectories for CPRB 180 to 270 .

PERERA et al. : SOLUTIONS TO FAILURES AND LIMITATIONS OF MAMDANI FUZZY INFERENCE 1549 Fig. 15.

Fig. 16.

Relative trajectories for CPRB 0 to 180 .

PERERA et al. : SOLUTIONS TO FAILURES AND LIMITATIONS OF MAMDANI FUZZY INFERENCE 1549 Fig. 15.

Fig. 17.

Zoomed view of the relative trajectories for CPRB 270 to 360 .

PERERA et al. : SOLUTIONS TO FAILURES AND LIMITATIONS OF MAMDANI FUZZY INFERENCE 1549 Fig. 15.

Fig. 18.

Zoomed view of the relative trajectories for CPRB 180 to 270 .

vessel with the CPRB (see Fig. 1) θ ci,o (k ), varying from

270 to 360 , 180 to 270 , and 0 to 180 , in 0.1 division

steps. Figs. 17–19 represent the zoomed view of the relative

trajectories of the target vessel around the own vessel initial

position with CPRB θ ci,o (k ), varying from 270 to 360 , 180

to 270 , and 0 to 180 , also with 0.1 steps, respectively.

The vessel initial speed condition is V o /V i = 0.5, and the

initial own vessel course and speed are ψ o = 0 and V o =

12 knots, respectively. The own vessel is initially located at

O (k )=(0 nmi, 0 nmi). The target vessel start positions are

located around the collision point C i (k )=(0 nmi, 5 nmi) (see

Fig. 1), with the target vessel startup distance to the collision

point R ci (k ) = 10 nmi. Constant speed and course conditions

are assumed for the target vessel. Before the insertion of the

fuzzy smooth regions, fuzzy rule inference failures occurred in-

between relative bearing range of 180 to 270 and from 270

to 360 , where the two contradictory decisions were intercepted

and the relative trajectory of the target vessel intercepts the own

vessel at initial position (0 nmi, 0 nmi).

1550

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON VEHICULAR TECHNOLOGY, VOL. 63, NO. 4, MAY 2014

1550 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON VEHICULAR TECHNOLOGY, VOL. 63, NO. 4, MAY 2014 Fig. 19. Zoomed view

Fig. 19.

Zoomed view of the relative trajectories for CPRB 0 to 180 .

1550 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON VEHICULAR TECHNOLOGY, VOL. 63, NO. 4, MAY 2014 Fig. 19. Zoomed view

Fig. 20.

Distance to the minimum point approach (CPRB 0 to 90 ).

1550 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON VEHICULAR TECHNOLOGY, VOL. 63, NO. 4, MAY 2014 Fig. 19. Zoomed view

Fig. 21.

Distance to the minimum point approach (CPRB 90 to 180 ).

1550 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON VEHICULAR TECHNOLOGY, VOL. 63, NO. 4, MAY 2014 Fig. 19. Zoomed view

Fig. 22.

Distance to the minimum point approach (CPRB 180 to 270 ).

1550 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON VEHICULAR TECHNOLOGY, VOL. 63, NO. 4, MAY 2014 Fig. 19. Zoomed view

Fig. 23.

Distance to the minimum point approach (CPRB 270 to 360 ).

vessel, are shown in Figs. 20–23. As observed from the figures,

two minimum distance points are noted around the CPRB,

i.e., θ ci,o (k ) = 175 to 180 , and 350 to 360 . However, the

minimum distance around the CPRB, i.e., θ ci,o (k ) = 175 to

180 , can be ignored since contradictory decision boundary

intersections are not present on this region.

Hence, the minimum distance around the CPRB, i.e.,

θ ci,o (k ) = 350 and 360 , should be further analyzed to observe

any fuzzy rule inference failures in the CAS. The main objective

of this analysis of the minimum distance around the CPRB,

i.e., θ ci,o (k ) = 350 and 360 , is to see whether any fuzzy

rule failure points are hiding around the region. This can be

observed by further zooming the view around the own vessel

initial points and observing the pattern of the relative navigation

trajectory of the target vessel.

The zoomed view of the target vessel relative trajectories

with respect to the CPRB, i.e., θ ci,o (k ) = 350 to 360 , around

the target vessel trajectories startup are presented in Fig. 24,

with the respective trajectories marked as a 1 , a 2 , a 3 , b 1 , b 2 , c 1 ,

c 2 , d 1 , d 2 , d 3 , and d 4 . Similarly, the zoomed view of the target

vessel relative trajectories with respect to the CPRB, θ ci,o (k ) =

350 to 360 around the own vessel startup point are presented

The relative minimum distance between the two vessels with in Fig. 25, with the respective relative trajectories marked as

the CPRB, θ ci,o (k ), varying from 0 to 90 , 90 to 180 ,

180 to 270 , and 270 to 360 , with respect to the own

a 1 , a 2 , a 3 , b 1 , b 2 , c 1 , c 2 , d 1 , d 2 , d 3 , and d 4 . As presented in

the figure, the own vessel initial position is bounded by the

PERERA et al.: SOLUTIONS TO FAILURES AND LIMITATIONS OF MAMDANI FUZZY INFERENCE

1551

PERERA et al. : SOLUTIONS TO FAILURES AND LIMITATIONS OF MAMDANI FUZZY INFERENCE 1551 Fig. 24.

Fig. 24. Zoomed view of the relative trajectories (CPRB 350 to 360 ) around the Target vessel initial position.

PERERA et al. : SOLUTIONS TO FAILURES AND LIMITATIONS OF MAMDANI FUZZY INFERENCE 1551 Fig. 24.

Fig. 25. Zoomed view of the relative trajectories (CPRB 350 to 360 ) around the Own vessel initial position.

relative trajectories of b 1 and b 2 that correspond to the minimum

distance between both vessels.

The relative trajectories of c 1 and c 2 are also bounded by

the relative trajectories of b 1 and b 2 , as observed in Fig. 24.

However, relative trajectories c 1 and c 2 shift away from the own

vessel region limited by the relative trajectories of b 1 and b 2 .

Further, the relative trajectories near the trajectory of b 1 , i.e.,

a 1 , a 2 , a 3 , and a 4 , and b 2 , i.e., d 1 , d 2 , d 3 , and d 4 , are also

observed, and all the trajectories shift away from the own vessel

initial position bounded by the relative trajectories of b 1 and b 2 .

Therefore, none of the relative trajectories generated around the

CPRB, i.e., θ ci,o (k ) = 350 to 360 , will converge into the own

vessel initial position that is bounded by the relative trajectories

of b 1 and b 2 . Hence, one can conclude that the system is free

from fuzzy inference failure points.

As presented in the figures, with the introduction of the

proper fuzzy smooth regions, the relative trajectory of the target

vessel no longer intercepts the own vessel. Instead, it shifts

its trajectory from one side of the origin to the other side.

The minimum distance between vessels becomes always above

0.02 nmi. One should note that this distance could be changed

by varying the FMF parameters of the PDM module.

B. Simulation of Overall System Performance

The computational simulations for the overall system, i.e.,

the integrated PDM and SAF modules, on a multivessel colli-

sion situation are presented in Figs. 26–32. It is assumed that

the target vessels are moving in constant speed and course and

PERERA et al. : SOLUTIONS TO FAILURES AND LIMITATIONS OF MAMDANI FUZZY INFERENCE 1551 Fig. 24.

Fig. 26.

Simulations of a multivessel collision situation.

PERERA et al. : SOLUTIONS TO FAILURES AND LIMITATIONS OF MAMDANI FUZZY INFERENCE 1551 Fig. 24.

Fig. 27.

Simulations of a multivessel collision situation.

PERERA et al. : SOLUTIONS TO FAILURES AND LIMITATIONS OF MAMDANI FUZZY INFERENCE 1551 Fig. 24.

Fig. 28.

Simulations of a multivessel collision situation.

1552

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON VEHICULAR TECHNOLOGY, VOL. 63, NO. 4, MAY 2014

1552 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON VEHICULAR TECHNOLOGY, VOL. 63, NO. 4, MAY 2014 Fig. 29. Simulations of
1552 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON VEHICULAR TECHNOLOGY, VOL. 63, NO. 4, MAY 2014 Fig. 29. Simulations of

Fig. 29. Simulations of a multivessel collision situation.

1552 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON VEHICULAR TECHNOLOGY, VOL. 63, NO. 4, MAY 2014 Fig. 29. Simulations of

Fig. 30.

Simulations of a multivessel collision situation.

do not honor any navigational rules and regulations of the sea

to keep the consistency in the collision situation.

In Fig. 26, the own vessel starts navigation from the origin

(0 m, 0 m) and the first, second and third target vessels start

from positions (1475 m, 1400 m), (9500 m, 1000 m), and

(9220 m, 6500 m), respectively. All startup and final positions

of the own and target vessels are represented by vessel shape

icons. The CRA is formulated by a Gaussian distribution and

presented in the x = 8000 m axis. Similarly, the collision

avoidance actions for the course and speed changes formulated

by the Gaussian distributions are presented in the x = 6000 m

and x = 4000 m axis, respectively. The scaled time axis

(actual time × 5s) is presented in the y -axis, and the scaled

collision risk (%), course actions (%)and speed actions (%) are

presented in the x-axis.

In Fig. 26, the system has observed one possible collision

situation, and the respective collision avoidance actions of “no

Fig. 31.

Simulations of a multivessel collision situation.

1552 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON VEHICULAR TECHNOLOGY, VOL. 63, NO. 4, MAY 2014 Fig. 29. Simulations of

Fig. 32.

Simulations of a multivessel collision situation.

avoid the first target vessel, are presented. Fig. 27 shows the

completion of the first action segment of collision avoidance.

In the same figure, the second target vessel is detected, and

the respective collision risk and collision avoidance actions of

“course to starboard” and “speed reduction” to avoid the second

target vessel are presented. In Fig. 28, the third target vessel

is detected, and the respective collision avoidance actions of

course to the port and no speed change to avoid the third target

vessel are presented. One should note that, in the same figure,

both vessels (i.e., own vessel and first target vessel) are moving

in a close encounter situation without any collision risk.

Fig. 29 shows the subcompletion of the second action seg-

ment of the collision avoidance actions, consisting in “speed

reduction” and continuation of “course change to starboard”

side by the own vessel. In Fig. 30, the own vessel is about

to safely pass the first target vessel and the completion of the

second action segment of the collision avoidance actions. In

Fig. 31, the own vessel is about to safely pass the second target

course change” and “speed reduction,” which are taken to vessel and the completion of the third action segment of the

PERERA et al.: SOLUTIONS TO FAILURES AND LIMITATIONS OF MAMDANI FUZZY INFERENCE

1553

collision avoidance. Finally, the completion of all the collision

avoidance actions without collision risk and safe passing of

the second and third target vessel trajectories are presented in

Fig. 32. The own vessel speed, course, position and time values

are shown on top of the respective figures.

VIII. C ONCLUSION AND F UTURE W ORK

Fuzzy-logic-based systems have been implemented in sev-

eral industrial applications. However, the FMF failures and

limitations in those systems have not been properly identified

in the recent literature. Therefore, this paper has shown how

Mamdani-type fuzzy inference failures observed in ship naviga-

tion can be avoided and what the limitations are of the proposed

solutions. The overall proposed system consists of a fuzzy-

logic-based PDM module and a Bayesian-network-based SAF

module that improves the decision-making process of a CAS

based on COLREGs rules and human expert knowledge in ship

navigation.

As was shown in the presented computational simulations,

successful results were obtained when applying the proposed

solutions of inserting a smooth transition region between

intersected contradictory decision inference boundaries, de-

termining the proper size limitations between nonintersected-

contradictory-decision inference regions and introducing a

“secondary-level” decision/action formulation module to over-

come “single-level” rule inference failures in the FMFs.

Although the results are promising, as future work it is

expected that improvements can be obtained by optimizing

the parameters in the FMFs. These parameters are somewhat

related to the navigational characteristics of the own vessel as

well as the navigational sensor capabilities. Therefore, further

studies should be developed to improve the identification of the

parameters of the FMFs. Furthermore, an experimental imple-

mentation of the CAS is shown in [37] and [38], and some pre-

liminary experimental results with the respective videos of the

ship maneuvers can be found at www.youtube.com/thecentec.

To conclude, one should note that, although the proposed

solutions were developed with collision avoidance in ocean

navigation in mind, they can be applied on any Mamdani-type

fuzzy-logic-based navigation system that suffers from similar

rule inference failures.

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OMAE2013-11265.

J. P. Carvalho (M’12) received the Licentiate, M.Sc., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal, in 1992, 1996, and 2002, re- spectively, all in electrical and computer engineering. Since 1991, he has been a Researcher with the Institute of Systems and Computer Engineering– Research and Development in Lisbon, Instituto Su- perior Técnico, University of Lisbon, where until 2008, he was with the Soft Computing Group. He is currently a Senior Researcher with the Spoken Lan- guage Systems Laboratory, Institute of Systems and Computer Engineering–Research and Development, Lisbon. Since 1998, he has taught courses on computational intelligence, distributed systems, computer architectures, and digital circuits. He is currently an Assistant Professor with the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computation, Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon. He is the co-author of over 70 papers in inter- national scientific journals, book chapters, and peer-reviewed conferences. His main research interests include the application of computational intelligence techniques to solve problems in noncomputing-related areas.

1554 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON VEHICULAR TECHNOLOGY, VOL. 63, NO. 4, MAY 2014 trajectory monitoring and information

Lokukaluge P. Perera received the B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in mechanical engineering from Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, USA, in 1999 and 2001, respectively, and the Ph.D. degree in naval ar- chitecture and marine engineering from the Techni- cal University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal, in 2012. He is currently with the Center for Marine Tech- nology and Engineering, Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon. Dr. Perera received Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowships from the Foundation for Science and Technology of Portugal in 2008 and 2012, respectively.

1554 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON VEHICULAR TECHNOLOGY, VOL. 63, NO. 4, MAY 2014 trajectory monitoring and information

C. Guedes Soares received the M.S. degree in ocean engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Tech- nology, Cambridge, MA, USA, in 1976; the Ph.D. degree from the Norwegian Institute of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway, in 1984; and the Doctor of Science degree from the Technical Univer- sity of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal, in 1991. He is currently a Professor of naval architecture and marine engineering and the President of the Center for Marine Technology and Engineering, Uni- versity of Lisbon, which is recognized and funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology.

1554 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON VEHICULAR TECHNOLOGY, VOL. 63, NO. 4, MAY 2014 trajectory monitoring and information