Exploring crowd dynamics under emergency conditions: simulation perspectives and experiments with panicking ants

Numerous incidents have been reported in past in which overcrowding and panic has resulted in injuries and death under emergency conditions. Modelling and empirical study of crowd behaviour is thus imperative to assist planners /managers of emergency response to analyse and assess safety precautions for those situations beforehand. In this study some simple experiments on panicking Argentine ants in indoor conditions (escaping towards exits) have been conducted to explore the potential for using alternative empirical systems to overcome the scarcity of data for panicking human crowds. Based on modification of existing model, simulation of crowd dynamics in outdoor condition like evacuation of a community have been also presented by utilizing the information (common behaviour of ants and pedestrians) as observed from the experiment. Although the experiments are still in progress and it is early to draw definitive conclusion with statistical significance, some preliminary results from the experiments show promise in using ants to model human traffic in emergency (panic) conditions. (a) For the covering entry of this conference, please see ITRD abstract no. E217226.


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  • Accession Number: 01124990
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: TRL
  • ISBN: 9780980319989
  • Files: ITRD, ATRI
  • Created Date: Mar 30 2009 6:16AM