Using Crowd Modelling in Evacuation Decision Making

B.J. Vreugdenhil, N. Bellomo, P.S. Townsend

ABSTRACT

Public spaces are created to be used, and large crowds gather in many buildings and external spaces. Maintaining a high level of safety for these people is of utmost importance. Cameras are used for security reasons by control room personnel, who also monitor crowd movements in case of emergency. Crowd modelling can be used to detect and analyse time dependent and space dependent crowd behaviour. Despite the large amount of raw visual information being processed, crowd modelling has not been dedicated yet to evacuation decision making. Predictive information can assist the decision maker in assessing the situation in the early stages, potentially preventing the need for an evacuation. If evacuation is inescapable, a decision maker can use crowd modelling to define the quickest and safest evacuation routes. This kind of decision support will reduce the number of deaths that occur before and during an evacuation.

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