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Title: A Bayesian belief network approach for modelling tactical decision-making in a multiple yacht race simulator
Author: Spenkuch, Thomas
ISNI:       0000 0004 5346 7421
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2014
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The importance of human factors has to be taken into account when determining a yacht’s performance over a course. The crew’s capabilities of technical skills, athletic performance, and his/her ability of making rational decisions under time pressure and in light of uncertainty of the future wind regime are important aspects that will determine the overall performance of a yacht-crew system. This thesis highlights the performance of such a yacht-crew system with a focus on the decision-making process of sailors. Aspects of human behaviour in sport and the decision-making process are explained considering the level of expertise and possible approaches of how to model them are shown. An artificial intelligence AI -system is developed that is capable of simulating the decision-making process of different sailing behaviours/styles as well as different expertise levels of sailors within a dynamically changing yacht racing environment. The constraints of the multiple fleet racing simulator Robo-Race (Scarponi 2008) were determined using a series of tests with real sailors identified three important constrains: (1) the predictable behaviour of the AI-yachts, (2) the predictable and unrealistic weather model and (3) the simple model describing the effects of yacht interaction. These restrictions and constraints that limited the real and AI-sailors natural sailing behaviour have been successfully removed in the updated version of Robo-Race. The new developed decision-making engine based on Decision Field Theory that uses Bayesian Belief Networks as the perceptual processor showed a clear superiority over the old rule-based decision-making engine. Extensive simulations demonstrate the feasibility of modelling various decision-making processes and therefore different behaviours and expertise levels of sailors. A good comparison was found with that obtained between the Robo-Race results and the Olympic fleet racing events.
Supervisor: Hudson, Dominic Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: VM Naval architecture. Shipbuilding. Marine engineering