Interdisciplinary Approach to Evacuation Modeling

Evacuations have long been studied within disciplinary boundaries, most frequently in the social sciences and in transportation engineering. Despite the common object of study, previous works integrating these fields’ perspectives are relatively sparse, sometimes leading to evacuation planning models that are divorced from social theory or that observed human behavior. However, a multidisciplinary solution is difficult because many social findings are not directly transferable to optimization formulations or simulation models. Most studies fail to recognize that human behavior and transportation systems are intertwined and that decisions depend not only on the disaster but also on the transportation conditions, options, sociodemographics, experiences, and risk perceptions. This paper reviews these two approaches to evacuation research and proposes a new interdisciplinary approach that merges the strengths of each. The process not only seeks to incorporate empirical and theoretical insights from the social sciences into transportation evacuation modeling but also calls for reexamination of some transportation modeling assumptions in order to improve their mapping in the real world. The result is a new five step modeling process.


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  • Accession Number: 01486744
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Jul 16 2013 12:31PM