SoftICE presenting intelligent virtual prototyping at ECMS 2017

SoftICE members Robin T. Bye and Ibrahim A. Hameed will be presenting some recent research results on intelligent virtual prototyping of maritime winches in two scientific papers to be presented at the 31st European Conference on Modelling and Simulation (ECMS) 2017 in Budapest, Hungary, on 23–26 May. The papers are co-authored by the two abovementioned researchers together with SoftICE colleagues Ottar L. Osen and  Webjørn Rekdalsbakken, as well as Birger Skogeng Pedersen (Mechatronics Lab, NTNU):

  • Robin T. Bye, Ibrahim A. Hameed, Birger Skogeng Pedersen, and Ottar L. Osen. An intelligent winch prototyping tool. In Proceedings of the 31st European Conference on Modelling and Simulation (ECMS ’17), May 2017. Download pdf.
  • Ibrahim A. Hameed, Robin T. Bye, Birger Skogeng Pedersen, and Ottar L. Osen. Evolutionary winch design using an online winch prototyping tool. In Proceedings of the 31st European Conference on Modelling and Simulation (ECMS ’17), May 2017. Download pdf.

A Prezi presentation of the first paper is available here:

Interactive Prezi presentation: An Intelligent Winch Prototyping Tool (ECMS’17)The full papers are available for download here: | Publications

The paper abstracts are provided at the end of this blog post.

Intelligent computer-automated design of cranes and winches

W build on our earlier work on intelligent computer-automated product design, where we have used methods from artificial intelligence (AI) such as genetic algorithms (GAs), particle swarm optimisation (PSO), and simulated annealing (SA) to optimise offshore crane design. Within a matter of only minutes, the algorithms were able to outperform the design of a real and delivered offshore crane with respect to some desired key performance indicators (KPIs). A human being would likely spend days or weeks to obtain the same results.

Generic and modular product optimization system.

Here, we focus on an intelligent winch prototyping tool (WPT):

Intelligent Winch Prototyping Tool (WPT)

We perform several test with various algorithms and are able to optimize a set of winch design parameter values that yield winch designs with suitable torque profiles:

Torque profiles for winch. The black profile has been optimized by means of a GA.

Abstract: An intelligent winch prototyping tool

In this paper we present a recently developed intelligent winch prototyping tool for ptimising the design of maritime winches, continuing our recent line of work using
artificial intelligence for intelligent computer-automated design of offshore cranes. The tool consists of three main components: (i) a winch calculator for determining key
performance indicators for a given winch design; (ii) a genetic algorithm that interrogates the winch calculator to optimise a chosen set of design parameters; and (iii) a web graphical user interface connected with (i) and (ii) such that winch designers can use it to manually design new winches or optimise the design by the click of a button. We demonstrate the feasibility of our work by a case study in which we improve the torque profiles of a default winch design by means of optimisation. Extending our generic and modular software framework for intelligent product optimisation, the winch calculator can easily be interfaced to external product optimisation clients by means of the HTTP and WebSocket protocols and a standardised JSON data format. In an accompanying paper submitted concurrently to this conference, we present one such client developed in Matlab that incorporates a variety of intelligent algorithms for the optimisation of maritime winch design.

Abstract: Evolutionary winch design using an online winch prototyping tool

This paper extends the work of a concurrent paper on an intelligent winch prototyping tool (WPT) that is part of a generic and modular software framework for intelligent computer-automated product design. Within this framework, we have implemented a Matlab winch optimisation client (MWOC) that connects to the WPT and employs four evolutionary optimisation algorithms to optimise winch design. The four algorithms we employ are (i) a genetic algorithm (GA), (ii) particle swarm optimisation (PSO), (iii) simulated annealing (SA), and (iv) a multi-objective optimisation genetic algorithm (MOOGA). Here, we explore the capabilities of MWOC in a case study where we show that given a set of design guidelines and a suitable objective function based on these guidelines, we are able to optimise a particular winch design with respect to some desired design criteria. Our research has taken place in close cooperation with two maritime industrial partners, Seaonics AS and ICD Software AS, through two innovation and research projects on applying artificial intelligence for intelligent computer-automated design of maritime equipment such as offshore cranes and maritime

More information

We have previously presented some details of our work on intelligent virtual prototyping of cranes and winches in earlier blog posts:


The SoftICE lab at NTNU in Ålesund wishes to thank ICD Software AS for their contribution in the software development process, and Seaonics AS for providing
documentation and insight into the design and manufacturing process of offshore cranes. We are also grateful for the support provided by Regionalt Forskningsfond
(RFF) Midt-Norge and the Research Council of Norway through the VRI research projects Artificial Intelligence for Crane Design (Kunstig intelligens for krandesign
(KIK)), grant no. 241238, and Artificial Intelligence for Winch Design (Kunstig intelligens for vinsjdesign (KIV)), grant no. 249171.


Parties interested in research collaboration, testing our software, or more information are encouraged to contact us.

The SoftICE Lab

Best Student Paper Award and Special Award at ECMS’16

During the anniversial 30th European Conference on Modelling and Simulation (ECMS) 2016 in Regensburg, Germany on 31 May — 3 June, SoftICE members Robin T. Bye, Ottar L. Osen, and Ibrahim A. Hameed presented some of our latest research reported in four scientific papers accepted in the Simulators for Virtual Prototyping and Training track, which was chaired by colleagues at NTNU Ottar L. Osen, Robin T. Bye, and Henrique Gaspar (who unfortunately could not attend this time). The papers were co-authored by the three abovementioned researchers together with colleagues Hans Georg Schaathun and Birger Skogeng Pedersen (NTNU in Ålesund), Adrian Rutle (University College of Bergen), Filippo Sanfilippo (NTNU in Trondheim), and bachelor graduates Rolf-Magnus Hjørungdal (NTNU in Ålesund) and Tom Verplaetse (Ghent University).

Best Student Paper Award

All four papers were reviewed by three reviewers and received excellent reviews. One paper,“Intelligent computer-automated crane design using an online crane prototyping tool” by Ibrahim A. Hameed, Ottar L. Osen, Robin T. Bye, Birger Skogeng Pedersen, and Hans Georg Schaathun, was nominated for the Best Paper Award but did not make it to the top.

However, another paper, “On Usage of EEG Brain Control for Rehabilitation of Stroke Patients” by Tom Verplaetse, Filippo Sanfilippo, Adrian Rutle, Ottar L. Osen, and Robin T. Bye, was nominated for both the Best Paper Award and the Best Student Paper Award, and managed to win the latter! A big congratulation to first author Tom Verplaetse (currently a master in engineering student at Ghent University), who completed the project as his bachelor thesis in automation engineering at NTNU in Ålesund spring 2015! The award was received by Robin T. Bye as Tom was busy with his exams during the conference.


Proud delegation from NTNU in Ålesund with Best Student Paper Award.


Best Student Paper Award certificate.

Special Award

Being a 30th anniversary jubilee conference, the board of the European Council of Modelling and Simulation decided to honour a number of people,including SoftICE member Robin T. Bye, with a Special Award for their contributions to ECMS over the years. Associate Professor Bye humbly accepted the award, which was presented at the conference dinner cruise on the river Donau aboard the luxurious ship Kristallkönigin. Dr. Bye received the award for his contributions as a previous board member of ECMS (2012-14), conference co-chair and programme chair of ECMS ’13 hosted by Aalesund University College (2013), and track chair activities (2012-16).


30th anniversary ECMS Special Award winners.


Special Award prize.


Proud SoftICE delegation with Special Award.

More information

More details about the work, as well as links for downloading papers, abstracts, and presentations can be found in earlier blog posts:


Some photos from the conference can be found on the website of the local organisers.

Here are some highlights we shot ourselves.

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Seminar: A Computer-automated Design Tool for Intelligent Virtual Prototyping of Offshore Cranes

SoftICE member Robin T. Bye will today present recent research on virtual prototyping of offshore cranes. The talk is called A Computer-automated Design Tool for Intelligent Virtual Prototyping of Offshore Cranes and is a based on a recent paper that will be presented at the 29th European Conference on Modelling and Simulation (ECMS 2015) in Varna, Bulgary, late May.

The seminar is open for all and will take place in room Borgundfjorden at 12.30 today 6 May 2015, AAUC main building.

This work is part of the research project Artificial Intelligence for Crane Design (Kunstig intelligens for krandesign (KIK)) funded by RFF/Research Council of Norway.

To read more about the paper, see this blog post. The abstract is included below.  Continue reading

Paper on intelligent virtual prototyping of offshore cranes accepted for ECMS 2015

ECMS_15smallSoftICE members Robin T. Bye and Ottar L. Osen have together with eminent automation student Birger Skogeng Pedersen written a scientific research paper called “A Computer-Automated Design Tool for Intelligent Virtual Prototyping of Offshore Cranes.” The paper has been peer-reviewed and accepted for publication in the Proceedings of the 29th European Conference on Modelling and Simulation (ECMS’15) and will be presented in the Simulators for Virtual Prototyping and Training (SVT) track (chaired by Robin T. Bye and AAUC colleague Vilmar Æsøy) at the conference in Varna, Bulgaria 26-29 May 2015.


Example of an offshore knuckleboom crane.

AAUC researchers have been regular attenders and contributors at ECMS conferences over the years, which have resulted in AAUC chairing several own tracks and even hosting the conference in Ålesund in 2013 (chairs were AAUC staff Webjørn Rekdalsbakken, Robin T. Bye, and Houxiang Zhang), a conference that was honoured to have recent Norwegian Nobel Prize laureate May-Britt Moser as a keynote speaker.

We will make the full paper available when the conference proceedings have been released. In the meantime, we provide the paper abstract below.

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