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Comparison of Pedestrian Data of Single File Movement Collected from Controlled Pedestrian Experiment and from Field in Mass Religious Gathering

Siddhartha Gulhare, Ashish Verma, Partha Chakroborty


Managing and controlling crowd during mass religious gathering is a challenge for organizers. With good computational capabilities, it is possible to create tools to simulate crowd in real time to aid crowd management. These tools need to be first calibrated and validated with pedestrian empirical data. The empirical data collection from field is difficult and therefore, data collection through controlled pedestrian experiments have become a convenient substitute. However, the ability of experiment data to reproduce actual crowd behavior needs to be examined. This study compared the experiment data with field data collected from mass religious gathering named Kumbh Mela held in India, 2016. The single file movement (pedestrians moving along a single line; SFM) experiment was conducted and its results were compared with the field SFM results. The speed in the field was found to be generally higher than in the experiment for a given density. The results clearly indicate that the pedestrians in the field are motivated to achieve a purpose but participants in the experiments lack the motivation. The pedestrian dynamics of the experiment was found to be different from the field. Hence, the results of pedestrian experiments should not be extrapolated to understand panic, crowd risk situations.


single file movement; mass religious gathering; controlled pedestrian experiments

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