ANN application in maritime industry : Baltic Dry Index forecasting & optimization of the number of container cranes / by Cui Han.
This dissertation is a study of dry bulk freight index forecasting and port planning, both based on Artificial Neural network application. First the dry bulk market is reviewed, and the reason for the high fluctuation of freight rates through the demand-supply mechanism is examined. Due to the volatile BDI, the traditional linear regression forecasting method cannot guarantee the performance of forecasting, but ANN overcomes this difficulty and gives better performance especially in a short time. Besides, in order to improve the performance of ANN further, wavelet is introduced to pre-process the BDI data. But when the noise (high frequency parts) is stripped, the hidden useful data may also be eliminated. So the performance of different degrees of de-noising models is evaluated, and the best one (most suitable de-noising model) is chosen to forecast BDI, which avoids over de-noising and keeps a fair ability of forecasting. In the second case study, the collected container terminals and ranked, and the throughput of each combination (different crane number) is estimated by applying a trained BP network. The BP network with DEA output is combined, simulating the efficiency of each combination. And finally, the optimal container crane number is fixed due to the highest efficiency and practical reasons. The Conclusion and Recommendation chapter gives some further advice, and many recommendations are given.