With the increase of the sea disaster caused by ship capsizing, self-rescuing ability of damaged ship has attracted much attention among ship designers, ship owners, classification societies and authorities. Damaged ship righting optimization remains a very complicated problem due to the feasible combinations of counter-flooding approaches with different compartments and loads are numerous. The effectiveness and efficiency of the artificial bee colony (ABC) algorithm has been demonstrated on the combinatorial optimization problem. In this paper, an ABC algorithm-based righting plan optimization method for damaged ship is proposed. In this method, the objective is to minimize the inclination angle under a group of constraints regarding stability, floatation and available compartments and loads. The functions of damage stability and floatation calculation are integrated into the proposed method to evaluate the righting effect of each single counter-flooding measure. The proposed method in this paper is validated through a case study of finding optimal righting plan of a train ferry with two different damage scenarios, and provides a foundation for the adoption of emergency response technologies in ship operation

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