Article

EUCISE-OWL: An ontology-based representation of the Common Information Sharing Environment (CISE) for the maritime domain

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Abstract

The timely and efficient cooperation across sectors and borders during maritime crises is paramount for the safety of human lives. Maritime monitoring authorities are now realizing the grave importance of cross-sector and cross-border information sharing. However, this cooperation is compromised by the diversity of existing systems and the vast volumes of heterogeneous data generated and exchanged during maritime operations. In order to address these challenges, the EU has been driving several initiatives, including several EU-funded projects, for facilitating information exchange across sectors and borders. A key outcome from these efforts is the Common Information Sharing Environment (CISE), which constitutes a collaborative initiative for promoting automated information sharing between maritime monitoring authorities. However, the adoption of CISE is substantially limited by its existing serialization as an XML Schema only, which facilitates information sharing and exchange to some extent, but fails to deliver the fundamental additional benefits provided by ontologies, like the richer semantics, enhanced semantic interoperability and semantic reasoning capabilities. Thus, this paper presents EUCISE-OWL, an ontology representation of the CISE data model that capitalizes on the benefits provided by ontologies and aims to encourage the adoption of CISE. EUCISE-OWL is an outcome from close collaboration in an EU-funded project with domain experts with extensive experience in deploying CISE in practice. The paper also presents a representative example for handling information exchange during a maritime crisis as well as performance results for specific querying tasks that can demonstrate and evaluate the use of the proposed ontology in practice.

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... Originally, the CISE was formulated with a data model (it continually gets enhanced [9]) using XSD (XML Schema Definition) or UML (Unified Modelling Language) and comprising seven core data entities [10] [11]: Location, Period, Event, Document, Agent, Risk and Object; and associated eleven auxiliary data entities: Action, Movement, Incident, Anomaly, Metadata, UID (Unique Identifier), Cargo, Vessel, Operational asset, Meteo-oceanographic condition, Person and Organisation. The data is defined through relationships and association rules alongside attributes, subclasses, values, and enumerations. ...
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... It has defined specific vocabulary that involves seven core entities and relationships among them, such as: Agent, Object, Location, Document, Event, Risk and Period. Moreover, the model comprehends eleven auxiliary entities: Vessel, Cargo, Operational Asset, Person, Organization, Movement, Incident, Anomaly, Action, Unique Identifier and Metadata [10]. ...
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... The original CISE Data Model composition of data entities is depicted in Figure 2 (UID stands for Unique Identifier) initially defined in FP7 EU project CoopP (Cooperation Project Maritime Surveillance) [8]. It is constantly being perfected [9] and extended as conducted in the ANDROMEDA project [5] with new data entities that describe further surveillance situations and details being observed. ...
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... The original CISE Data Model composition of data entities is depicted in Figure 2 (UID stands for Unique Identifier) initially defined in FP7 EU project CoopP (Cooperation Project Maritime Surveillance) [8]. It is constantly being perfected [9] and extended as conducted in the ANDROMEDA project [5] with new data entities that describe further surveillance situations and details being observed. ...
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This paper outlines an extensive analysis of the case of Montenegro’s maritime surveillance system becoming integrated within the European Common Information Sharing Environment (CISE). Threats to secure maritime borders across Europe are ever-present and regularly demand coordinated efforts between the member states to tackle and prevent them, e.g. illegal immigration across the Mediterranean. Administration for Maritime Safety and Port Management (AMSPM) in Montenegro is a member of the ANDROMEDA EU project that seeks to facilitate deployments and demonstrations of CISE trials across the European regions, towards their endorsement readiness. AMSPM is now at the forefront of assessing and deploying the CISE components in Montenegro. It thus appropriately evaluates the operational aspects, observes the CISE implementations in some European states, formulates the impact for other national stakeholders, as well as the very prospect of the resulting augmented maritime surveillance in the country. This substantiates the content of this paper as the feasibility of the CISE deployment in Montenegro, supported by a snapshot of the cost-benefit analysis. We aspire to offer novel perspectives and insights that could be a universally useful experience to different CISE implementation initiatives, especially for countries or regions of similar smaller sizes and coastal area.
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