Experimental Study of Collective Pedestrian Dynamics

Cécile Appert-Rolland, Julien Pettré, Anne-Hélène Olivier, William Warren, Aymeric Duigou-Majumdar, Etienne Pinsard, Alexandre Nicolas


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.


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

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17815/CD.2020.109

Copyright (c) 2020 Cécile Appert-Rolland, Julien Pettré, Anne-Hélène Olivier, William Warren, Aymeric Duigou-Majumdar, Etienne Pinsard, Alexandre Nicolas

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