Investigation of pedestrian evacuation scenarios through congestion level and crowd dang

Claudio Feliciani, Katsuhiro Nishinari


In this paper, we present two quantities aimed at numerically describing the level of congestion and the intrinsic risk of pedestrian crowds. The congestion level allows to assess the smoothness of pedestrian streams and recognize regions where self-organization is difficult or not possible. This measure differs from previous attempts to quantify congestion in pedestrian crowds by employing velocities as vector entities (thus not only focusing on the absolute value). The crowd danger contains elements related to congestion, but also includes the effect of density, consequently allowing to asses the risks intrinsically created by the dynamics of crowds. Details on the computational methods related to both quantities are described in the paper and their properties are discussed. As a practical application, both measures are used to investigate supervised experiments where evacuation (or similar conditions) are considered. Results for small room sizes and limited number of pedestrians show that the crowd danger distribution over the space in front of the exit door has similar patterns to typical quantities used in the frame of pedestrian dynamics (density and flow) and symmetrical shapes are obtained. However, when larger scenarios are considered, then congestion map and crowd danger become unrelated from density and/or flow, showing that both quantities express different aspects of pedestrian motion.


evacuation; congestion; intrinsic crowd risk; collective motion; experimental investigation

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