ONSITE – Design driven field studies for safer demanding marine operations

SoftICE takes part in the ONSITE project, which is headed by the Ocean Industries Concept Lab at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design. We had the kick-off meeting 24 March 2015 with project partners from DNV GL, Ulstein Group, and Pon Power AS.

ONSITE seeks to strengthen the Norwegian maritime industry by securing an efficient feedback loop between field studies carried out in maritime operations and design processes for new ships and equipment onshore. SoftICE’s role is to develop data models and the software architecture to support gathering, management, and retrieval of field data.

Field studies is a diverse data source. We have to handle video and audio streams, field notes, narratives, still images, drawings and sketches, as well as numeric data from sensors and ship instruments. Post-field research may add annotations and cross-references to the data set, and these have to be managed as well. The user will have relate data from multiple field studies to study particular phenomena.

Our work will apply modern technologies including semantic web, ontologies, multimedia metadata, et cetera to support field data retrieval. We will consider both the linking of data associated with the same scene in a given field studies, and the linking of field data with contextual models, such as models of the operation or the ship, so that the designer can easily find information relating to particular tasks, roles, or work stations.

We still have an an opening for a PhD candidate to work on this project. The application deadline is 14 April 2015. See the advert for further details.

Paper on intelligent virtual prototyping of offshore cranes accepted for ECMS 2015

ECMS_15smallSoftICE members Robin T. Bye and Ottar L. Osen have together with eminent automation student Birger Skogeng Pedersen written a scientific research paper called “A Computer-Automated Design Tool for Intelligent Virtual Prototyping of Offshore Cranes.” The paper has been peer-reviewed and accepted for publication in the Proceedings of the 29th European Conference on Modelling and Simulation (ECMS’15) and will be presented in the Simulators for Virtual Prototyping and Training (SVT) track (chaired by Robin T. Bye and AAUC colleague Vilmar Æsøy) at the conference in Varna, Bulgaria 26-29 May 2015.


Example of an offshore knuckleboom crane.

AAUC researchers have been regular attenders and contributors at ECMS conferences over the years, which have resulted in AAUC chairing several own tracks and even hosting the conference in Ålesund in 2013 (chairs were AAUC staff Webjørn Rekdalsbakken, Robin T. Bye, and Houxiang Zhang), a conference that was honoured to have recent Norwegian Nobel Prize laureate May-Britt Moser as a keynote speaker.

We will make the full paper available when the conference proceedings have been released. In the meantime, we provide the paper abstract below.

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SoftICE presenting pedagogical research at STEM-conference

SoftICE members Hans Georg Schaathun and Robin T. Bye together with first author Welie A. Schaathun will be presenting pedagogical research on “Active Learning Using Microcontrollers (Aktiv læring i Mikrokontrollarar)” at the Norwegian STEM conference in Bergen 18-19 March (MNT-konferansen 2015).

AAUC is also represented with other work, including “Development and Testing of Method to Avoid Quitting in Engineering Education (Utvikling og utprøving av metode for å hindre frafall i ingeniørutdanningene)” and “Student-Active Research in the Course Real-Time Computer Engineering (Studentaktiv forskning i emnet Sanntids datateknikk)“.

Abstract of our paper (in Norwegian only): Continue reading

DRAMA project completed

The research project Dynamic Resource Allocation with Maritime Application (DRAMA) was funded by Regionalt Forskningsfond (RFF) Midt-Norge and the Research Council of Norway,  grant no. ES504913. A complete final report can be downloaded here.

The project was officially ended during summer 2014, although work has continued since then through a PhD candidate, Brice Assimizele, and the professor scholarship of the project manager, Robin T. Bye.

Please visit the DRAMA website to read more!

The main goal of the project was to develop new and stringent algorithms for fleet optimisation based on methods from areas such as artificial intelligence, cybernetics, stochastic optimisation, and others.


Figure 1: Ship traffic along pink corridor along northern Norwegian coast. NOR VTS is the vessel traffic service centre in Vardø.

In particular, the project focussed on the the tug vessel preparedness in the north of Norway (see Figure 1). Annually more than 1500 high risk ships transit along the Norwegian coast, out of which about 300 carry oil or petroleum-related cargo. A fleet of three tugs as depicted in Figure 3 (two tugs since January 2014) need to be dynamically positioned along the coast in order to reduce the risk of oil tankers or other ships causing oil spill from drift grounding accidents.


Figure 2: The tug fleet of the Norwegian Coastal Administration.

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Master in Simulation and Visualisation

On Wednesday 11 March, Aalesund University College invited students, professionals, and others interested in commencing master studies at AAUC to our campus for a half-day seminar filled with invited talks and presentations of our master programmes.

Students using the Oculus Rift glasses for virtual reality.

The master programme that SoftICE is involved in is the new Master in Simulation and Visualisation, which says that

Industry and society is getting more complex, providing engineers with new challenges. Simulation and visualization are powerful tools to test new ideas, to optimize performance of systems, and to provide support for making decisions. They are also used to analyze big amounts of data, and to connect information to real and virtual landscapes and cities. The use is rapidly increasing in industry, in public planning and management, as well as widely used in dedicated simulators to train pilots, sea captains and police.

Please visit the link to read more, and please apply before 15 April!

Photos from the seminars: Continue reading

SoftICE members chairing the Joint IT Conference 2015 (NIK-NOKOBIT-NISK-UDIT)

Three SoftICE members, Hans Georg Schaathun, Arne Styve, and Robin T. Bye, are co-chairing the Joint IT Conference 2015 (Felles IT-konferanse 2015) together with AAUC colleague Anniken Karlsen. The conference, which consists of four co-located conferences (NIK, NOKOBIT, NISK, and UDIT), takes place in Ålesund on 23-25 November.

Town of Ålesund.

NIK, NOKOBIT, and NISK are well established, Norwegian, academic conferences within different branches of computing and IT.

The art noveau city and its surrounding region is home to a long range of high technology companies, especially within the maritime industry. Aalesund University College has an active role in the maritime cluster (Global Centre of Expertise). Among computing related innovations, we find increasing use of simulation and visualisation, both for training on demanding marine operations and for virtual prototyping used in the design and development process, as well as artificial intelligence and cybernetics in control systems.

Important dates:

  • Submission deadline (NIK/NOKOBIT/UDIT): 1/7/15
  • Deadline for proposals for workshops and other programme items: 1/8/15
  • Submission deadline (NISK): 31/8/15
  • Author notification : 21/9/15
  • Camera-ready papers: 9/10/15
  • Conference: 23-25/11/15

Please see the conference website for more information, and please submit a paper!

Follow the conference on Twitter and Facebook, and please hashtag us: #itkonferanse2015