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Modeling human factors influencing herding during evacuation

Muzna Zafar (Department of Software Engineering, Bahria University, Islamabad, Pakistan)
Kashif Zia (Faculty of Computing and Information Technology, Sohar University, Sohar, Oman)
Dinesh Kumar Saini (Faculty of Computing and Information Technology, Sohar University, Sohar, Oman)
Arshad Muhammad (Faculty of Computing and Information Technology, Sohar University, Sohar, Oman)
Alois Ferscha (Department of Pervasive Computing, Johannes Kepler University, Linz, Austria)

International Journal of Pervasive Computing and Communications

ISSN: 1742-7371

Article publication date: 5 June 2017

Abstract

Purpose

It has been witnessed that many incidents of crowd evacuation have resulted in catastrophic results, claiming lives of hundreds of people. Most of these incidents were a result of localized herding that eventually turned into global panic. Many crowd evacuation models have been proposed with different aspects of interests. The purpose of this paper is to attempt to bring together many of these aspects to study evacuation dynamics.

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed agent-based model, in a hypothetical physical environment, uses perception maps for routing decisions which are constructed from agents’ personal observations of the surroundings as well as information gathered through distant communication. Communication is governed by a trust model which measures the authenticity of the information being shared. Agents are of two types; emotional and rational. The trust model is combined with a game-theoretic model to resolve conflict of agents’ own type with that of types of agents in the neighborhood.

Findings

Evacuation dynamics in different environmental and exit strategies are evaluated on the basis of reduced herding and evacuation time. Using this integrated information sharing model, agents gain an overall view of the environment, sufficient to select the optimal path towards exits with respect to reduced herding and evacuation time.

Originality/value

The proposed model has been formulated and established using an agent-based simulation integrating important modeling aspects. The paper helps in understanding the interplay between technological and humanistic aspects in smart and pervasive environments.

Keywords

Citation

Zafar, M., Zia, K., Saini, D.K., Muhammad, A. and Ferscha, A. (2017), "Modeling human factors influencing herding during evacuation", International Journal of Pervasive Computing and Communications, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 211-234. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPCC-03-2017-0024

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited