Forecasting vessel flows is important to the development of intelligent transportation systems in the maritime field, as real-time and accurate traffic information has favorable potential in helping a maritime authority to alleviate congestion, mitigate emission of GHG (greenhouse gases) and enhance public safety, as well as assisting individual vessel users to plan better routes and reduce additional costs due to delays. In this paper, we propose three deep learning-based solutions to forecast the inflow and outflow of vessels within a given region, including a convolutional neural network (CNN), a long short-term memory (LSTM) network, and the integration of a bidirectional LSTM network with a CNN (BDLSTM-CNN). To apply those solutions, we first divide the given maritime region into
grids, then we forecast the inflow and outflow for all the grids. Experimental results based on the real AIS (Automatic Identification System) data of marine vessels in Singapore demonstrate that the three deep learning-based solutions significantly outperform the conventional method in terms of mean absolute error and root mean square error, with the performance of the BDLSTM-CNN-based hybrid solution being the best.
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