Researchers develop machine learning model that will support safe and accurate decision making for the Halifax Harbour

Researchers develop machine learning model that will support safe and accurate decision making for the Halifax Harbour
A Smart Buoy floating on the ocean. Credit: Dalhousie University

Researchers at Dalhousie and ocean data analytics innovation environment DeepSense have developed a machine learning method for predicting wind speed and wave height measurements. Such measurements support safe and more accurate decision making by the Halifax Port Authority and the Halifax Marine Pilots.


Results published in the Journal for Ocean Technology demonstrate how the team used data from smart buoys to provide predictions for use during periods of scheduled buoy maintenance and/or spontaneous sensor failures. These predictions will be valuable to the Port community in providing continuity of critical information used in the safe navigation of vessels within the Port of Halifax and the safe transfer of Halifax Marine Pilots between pilot boats and commercial vessels.

The DeepSense/SmartAtlantic project is a collaboration between the Center for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship (COVE), DeepSense, the Halifax Port Authority (HPA) and the Canadian Marine Pilots’ Association (CMPA).

Based out of the Faculty of Computer Science with funding and support from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), the Province of Nova Scotia, the Ocean Frontier Institute (OFI) and IBM, DeepSense drives growth in the ocean economy through artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data applied research.

Making predictions

Initiated by COVE with partners at the HPA and the CMPA, the project aimed to provide a highly accurate additional level of redundancy for the SmartAtlantic Herring Cove Buoy.

“The Smart Buoy platform hosts several ocean sensors and generates refined forecasts that have become a crucial resource for marine users that enter the Halifax Harbor,” says Melanie Nadeau, CEO of COVE. “With the addition of DeepSense and their ability to use data collected over the last 7 years, we have a path forward to providing seamless information to the marine industry.”

Chris Whidden, assistant professor in the Faculty of Computer Science, led the research team associated with the project with support from Master of Applied Computer Science student Jesuseyi Fasuyi.

“The issue is that if live sensor data isn’t available from smart buoys, we are left guessing if it’s safe to transfer pilots to large shipping vessels and cruise ships to guide them into the Halifax Harbor,” says Dr. Whidden.

“We took the main predictive variables of wind speed and wave height, and data related to these variables collected by other smart buoys and land stations, to think about how we can use machine learning to make predictions around this activity for the buoy at Herring Cove. It’s novel as no one else seems to be making predictions like this from only one or two replacement sensors.”

Machine learning is used commonly to identify patterns in data and use this to make automatic predictions or decisions.

“There are many, many different machine learning models and we had to decide which one to concentrate on,” explains Dr. Whidden. “We ended up looking at three: random forests, support vector machines and a neural network model. They’re kind of exemplars for this task. So random forests and support vector

Selling Sunset ‘s Heather Rae Young Teases Big Bridal Decision Ahead of Tarek El Moussa Wedding

So many dresses, so little time!

Heather Rae Young took to Instagram on Monday, Oct. 19 to give her fans a sneak peek at some of the gorgeous gowns she’s considering for her wedding rehearsal.

“I’ve been rehearsal dress shopping!” the Selling Sunset star wrote on the social network. “Trying to find the perfect one that fits my personality.”

The real estate agent noted she wanted her fiancé Tarek El Moussa to choose what he wanted to see her in on their “special night” before they say “I do.” It looks like there are several options, too. In the photos, Heather modeled a short dress with a long train and beaded belt, a one-sleeve ensemble with mixed fabrics and a hint of sparkle, and a flowy, V-neck number.

But did any of these looks actually make the cut? “These 3 are stunning,” she wrote, “but they may or may not be the…one he chose. Out of these 3 which one would you choose for me? Or none of these? And if so what do you see me in? Something flirty and short or long and elegant?”

Tarek El Moussa and Heather Rae Young: Romance Rewind

Heather noted the HGTV star would be posting the big reveal on his Instagram—so fans will just have to stay tuned. “Remember it may not be any of these 3,” she teased. “But he chose well!!”

The bride-to-be found her actual wedding gown in September and revealed her designer, Galia Lahav, last week.

Tarek popped the question on the couple’s one-year anniversary back in July.

Heather Rae YoungHeather Rae Young

As for when the big day will actually take place, Tarek recently told E! News’ Daily Pop they’re thinking “either May or October.” They’re also still ironing out other details, including the location. Tarek said they’re deciding between Mexico and California.

However, one thing is for sure: The couple said they’re not inviting any exes. As fans will recall, Tarek was previously married to Christina Anstead, but they announced their split in 2016 and finalized their divorce in 2018. The Flip or Flop stars share two children together: Taylor, 10, and Brayden, 5.

“No, no exes at the wedding,” Tarek recently told Entertainment Tonight, adding the nuptials may not be televised. “Small, less distractions, more intimate, better conversations with the people around us. You know, we just think smaller is better.”

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Fairfax School Board Delays Decision On Hybrid Model For Students

FAIRFAX COUNTY, VA — After Superintendent Scott Brabrand presented recommendations for phasing in hybrid learning, the school board could not reach a decision on hybrid learning in a Thursday meeting that ran into Friday.

In September, the school board approved a plan to bring back limited cohorts of students for in-person learning. The first group of students started returning on Oct. 5 for specialized Career and Technical Education classes, and additional groups are planned to return later in October and November.

This week’s vote centered around the return of two groups for hybrid learning, or a mix of in-person and virtual learning. Under the superintendent’s tentative timeline, there would be a January return for elementary school students in third through sixth grade, students in secondary public day programs-special education (Burke School middle school students, Cedar Lane School and Quander Road School) and Davis & Pulley Center (students with target learner profiles). The next group, middle and high school students in sixth through twelfth grade and Davis & Pulley Career Centers, would return in February.

The school board deadlocked on a motion to postpone discussions until Nov. 12 on bringing back those two groups for hybrid instruction. School board members who favored delaying the conversation were Ricardy Anderson, Melanie Meren, Tamara Kaufax, Abrar Omeish, Laura Jane H Cohen, and Karl Frisch. Members who were opposed were Megan McLaughlin, Rachna Heizer, Elaine Tholen, Karen Corbett Sanders, Karen Keys-Gamarra and Stella Pekarsky.

The return to school presentation focused on the school district’s operational and readiness levels, an update on COVID notification and reporting, and tentative phases for bringing back remaining student groups.

This article originally appeared on the Kingstowne-Rose Hill Patch

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