Mental Models of Navigation Safety to Inform Risk Management Decisions: Case Study on the Houston Ship Channel

The Houston Ship Channel (HSC) is one of the busiest waterway corridors in the United States. Since the channel’s expansion in 2005, concerns have arisen about design deficiencies in the HSC in the area of the Bayport Ship Channel (BSC), especially north of the turn at Five Mile Cut. A mental models expert elicitation exercise was conducted in order to identify safety concerns arising from these design deficiencies and provide qualitative data that can structure analysis of technical data like those from automatic identification system (AIS) databases, which can better connect possible design deficiencies to incident outcomes. The elicitation produced an influence diagram to enable later causal reasoning and Bayesian analysis for the HSC and BSC confluence and nearby areas on the HSC, and helped to prime a comprehensive study of the feasibility of safety and performance modifications on this reach of the HSC.


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  • Accession Number: 01681269
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Aug 1 2018 3:06PM