The ship domain is a very important and useful concept in marine traffic engineering. It has been widely used in traffic simulation models, for encounter criteria, traffic lane design criteria, VTS planning, risk assessment, collision avoidance, and for other applications.
Dr Y. Fujii, Dr E. M. Goodwin and Dr T. G. Coldwell have done a lot of work on this subject. The differences between their ship domain concepts are described in the second part of this paper. In the third part, the authors have used a new branch of social psychology – the theory of Proxemics – to analyse the factors which affect the ship domain, and point out that the basis of producing ship domains is in the field of Proxemics. Finally, in the fourth part of this paper, some problems in ship domains are analysed.
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