The aim of this study is to illustrate the advantage of using agent based models (ABM) in order to deepen the understanding of crowd phenomena and help manage design strategies and egress operations on the field.
The crowd stream, recognised as a proper nonlinear system, is in fact able to produce characteristic patterns that interact with the environment in recurring shapes. In particular, the free stream and the multi-leader stream are chosen as two mostly representative patterns that develop under typical conditions in a real life egress environment, so that the ABM engineering may bring an added value also in the development of the environment layout.
The first part of the study describes the features of these emerging patterns in one geometrical enclosure typical of a Mall. Such issues as queuing, clogging generation, paths of crowd spreading are, for instance, the primary goal upon which to compare the modelling. The overall outcomes, in terms of travel times and people fluxes, complete the scene.
The second part of the study describes the connected evolution of these emerging patterns in an environment typical of the landside space in an Airport terminal.
Such issues as people advancement, emotions transport, and change of direction are, for instance, the primary goal for the modelling. The overall outcomes of the travel times and people fluxes are the remaining issues to be assessed.
The comparison between the results coming from the various ABM packages (Evac, Pathfinder) completes the study, showing how a proper choice in modelling can be based depending on the foreseen goal of the design stage.
The procedure developed in this study, then, may be used and form the basis for an advanced design method that can be of practical use both in Fire Safety Engineering and in Egress Management
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 Evac (plus FDS), VTT Technical Research Center of Finland, Online. http://www.vtt.fi/fdsevac/
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