Machine learning models for predicting ship main engine Fuel Oil Consumption: a comparative study

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As Fuel Oil Consumption (FOC) constitutes over 25% of a vessel’s overall operating cost, its accurate forecasting, and the reliable prediction of the relevant ship operating expenditures can majorly impact the ship operation sustainability and profitability. This study presents a comparison of data-driven, multiple regression algorithms for predicting ship main engine FOC considering two different shipboard data acquisition strategies, noon-reports and Automated Data Logging & Monitoring (ADLM) systems. For this, various multiple regression algorithms including Support Vector Machines (SVMs), Random Forest Regressors (RFRs), Extra Trees Regressors (ETRs), Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs), and ensemble methods are employed. The effectiveness of the tested algorithms is investigated based on a number of key performance indicators, such as the mean and median average error and the coefficient of determination (R2). ETR and RFR models were found to perform best in both cases, whilst the existence of an ADLM system increased accuracy by 7% and reduced the required period for data collection by up to 90%. The derived models can accurately predict the FOC of vessels sailing under different load conditions, weather conditions, speed, sailing distance, and drafts.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106282
Number of pages14
JournalOcean Engineering
Early online date26 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2019


  • FOC prediction
  • ship energy effciency
  • multiple regression
  • support vector machines
  • neural networks
  • ensemble methods
  • machine learning


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