Experimental Study of Collective Pedestrian Dynamics


  • Cécile Appert-Rolland Laboratory of Theoretical Physics, University Paris-Saclay, Orsay, France
  • Julien Pettré Inria, University Rennes, Rennes, France
  • Anne-Hélène Olivier Inria, University Rennes, Rennes, France
  • William Warren CLPS, Brown University, Providence, United States
  • Aymeric Duigou-Majumdar Laboratory of Theoretical Physics, University Paris-Saclay, Orsay, France
  • Etienne Pinsard Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modèles Statistiques, University Paris-Saclay, Orsay, France
  • Alexandre Nicolas Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modèles Statistiques, University Paris-Sud, Orsay, France




pedestrian dynamics, experiments, tracking, crossing flows, pattern formation, dense crowds


We report on two series of experiments, conducted in the frame of two different collaborations designed to study how pedestrians adapt their trajectories and velocities in groups or crowds. Strong emphasis is put on the motivations for the chosen protocols and the experimental implementation. The first series deals with pattern formation, interactions between pedestrians, and decision-making in pedestrian groups at low to medium densities. In particular, we show how pedestrians adapt their headways in single-file motion depending on the (prescribed) leader’s velocity. The second series of experiments focuses on static crowds at higher densities, a situation that can be critical in real life and in which the pedestrians’ choices of motion are strongly constrained sterically. More precisely, we study the crowd’s response to its crossing by a pedestrian or a cylindrical obstacle of 74cm in diameter. In the latter case, for a moderately dense crowd, we observe displacements that quickly decay with the minimal distance to the obstacle, over a lengthscale of the order of the meter.


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How to Cite

Appert-Rolland, C., Pettré, J., Olivier, A.-H., Warren, W., Duigou-Majumdar, A., Pinsard, E., & Nicolas, A. (2020). Experimental Study of Collective Pedestrian Dynamics. Collective Dynamics, 5, 1–8. https://doi.org/10.17815/CD.2020.109



Proceedings of Pedestrian and Evacuation Dynamics 2018