Artificial Intelligence Search Strategies for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles Applied for Submarine Groundwater Discharge Site Investigation

Christoph Tholen, Tarek A. El-Mihoub, Lars Nolle, Oliver Zielinski

In: Journal of Marine Science and Engineering (MDPI) 10 7 Seiten 1-39 MDPI 12/2021.


In this study, a set of different search strategies for locating submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) are investigated. This set includes pre-defined path planning (PPP), adapted random walk (RW), particle swarm optimisation (PSO), inertia Levy-flight (ILF), self-organising-migration- algorithm (SOMA), and bumblebee search algorithm (BB). The influences of self-localisation and communication errors and limited travel distance of the autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) on the performance of the proposed algorithms are investigated. This study shows that the proposed search strategies could not outperform the classic search heuristic based on full coverage path planning if all AUVs followed the same search strategy. In this study, the influence of self-localisation and communication errors was investigated. The simulations showed that, based on the median error of the search runs, the performance of SOMA was in the same order of magnitude regardless the strength of the localisation error. Furthermore, it was shown that the performance of BB was highly affected by increasing localisation errors. From the simulations, it was revealed that all the algorithms, except for PSO and SOMA, were unaffected by disturbed communications. Here, the best performance was shown by PPP, followed by BB, SOMA, ILF, PSO, and RW. Furthermore, the influence of the limited travel distances of the AUVs on the search performance was evaluated. It was shown that all the algorithms, except for PSO, were affected by the shorter maximum travel distances of the AUVs. The performance of PPP increased with increasing maximum travel distances. However, for maximum travel distances > 1800 m the median error appeared constant. The effect of shorter travel distances on SOMA was smaller than on PPP. For maximum travel distances < 1200 m, SOMA outperformed all other strategies. In addition, it can be observed that only BB showed better performances for shorter travel distances than for longer ones. On the other hand, with different search strategies for each AUV, the search performance of the whole swarm can be improved by incorporating population-based search strategies such as PSO and SOMA within the PPP scheme. The best performance was achieved for the combination of two AUVs following PPP, while the third AUV utilised PSO. The best fitness of this combination was 15.9. This fitness was 26.4% better than the performance of PPP, which was 20.4 on average. In addition, a novel mechanism for dynamically selecting a search strategy for an AUV is proposed. This mechanism is based on fuzzy logic. This dynamic approach is able to perform at least as well as PPP and SOMA for different travel distances of AUVs. However, due to the better adaptation to the current situation, the overall performance, calculated based on the fitness achieved for different maximum travel distances, the proposed dynamic search strategy selection performed 32.8% better than PPP and 34.0% better than SOMA.

Weitere Links

Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz
German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence