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Detecting Search and Rescue missions from AIS data

  • Dalhousie University, Goldberg Computer Science Building, CS Auditorium (#127) 6050 University Avenue Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada (map)
Speaker:   Konstantinos Tserpes and Iraklis Varlamis, (Harokopio University of Athens)
Title:    Detecting Search and Rescue missions from AIS data
Date:      Thursday August 2, 2018

Time:      11:30am

Location:  CS Auditorium (#127)
           Goldberg Computer Science Building
	   Dalhousie University
           6050 University Avenue, Halifax


The crossing of the Mediterranean by refugees has turned to be an extremely perilous activity. Human operators that handle Search and Rescue (SAR) missions need all the help they can muster in order to timely discover and assist in the coordination of the operations. In this work we present a tool that automatically detects SAR missions in the sea, by employing Automatic Identification System (AIS) data streams. The approach defines three steps to be taken: a) trajectory compression for affordable real time analysis in the presence of big data; b) detection of sub-operations to which a SAR mission is actually decomposed, and; c) synthesis of multiple vessels’ inferred behavior to determine an ongoing SAR mission and its details. The evaluation results are promising showing that AIS data carry highly valuable information even in the absence of any other type of data that could make the problem easier (e.g. coast guard signals).



Brief Bio:

Iraklis Varlamis is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Informatics and Telematics of the Harokopio University of Athens. He holds a PhD in Informatics from Athens University of Economics and Business, Greece and an MSc in Information Systems Engineering from UMIST, UK. He has been involved as a technical coordinator in a number of EU funded projects concerning knowledge management, data mining and Machine Learning. He has also coordinated several national R&D projects concerning data management and personalized delivery of information. He has authored more than 100 articles concerning text and graph mining and intelligent applications in social networks and the web and received more than 1600 citations. For more information visit:


Konstantinos Tserpes is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Informatics and Telematics of the Harokopio University of Athens. He holds a PhD in the area of Distributed Systems from the school of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens (2008). His research interests revolve around distributed systems, software and service engineering and Big Data analysis. He has been involved in several EU and National funded projects conducting research for solving issues related to scalability, interoperability, fault tolerance, and extensibility in application domains such as multimedia, e-governance, post-production, finance, e-health and others. He has served as the scientific or general coordinator in several collaborative research projects such as +Spaces, SocIoS, Consensus, Fortissimo (FP7) and recently BASMATI (H2020). Currently he is a partner in the Marie-Curie project: MASTER (H2020). Since 2015, he has been engaged in bilateral technology exchange collaboration with MarineTraffic for tackling issues related to trajectory analysis. For more information visit: