Physical Review E, 90, 042816 – Published 28 October 2014
With the growth in world population, the density of crowds in public places has been increasing steadily, leading to a higher incidence of crowd disasters at high densities. Recent research suggests that emergent chaotic behavior at high densities—known collectively as crowd turbulence—is to blame. Thus, a deeper understanding of crowd turbulence is needed to facilitate efforts to prevent and plan for chaotic conditions in high-density crowds. However, it has been noted that existing algorithms modeling collision avoidance cannot faithfully simulate crowd turbulence. We hypothesize that simulation of crowd turbulence requires modeling of both collision avoidance and frictional forces arising from pedestrian interactions. Accordingly, we propose a model for turbulent crowd simulation, which incorporates a model for interpersonal stress and acceleration constraints similar to real-world pedestrians. Our simulated results demonstrate a close correspondence with observed metrics for crowd turbulence as measured in known crowd disasters.
Continuum Modeling of Crowd Turbulence. Abhinav Golas, Rahul Narain, and Ming C. Lin.
In this scenario 6800 simulated individuals merge from two incoming directions (west and soth) head east through a 20m wide corridor.
Without using a physically-plausible pedestrian acceleration model or stress model as proposed in our paper, crowds exhibit laminar flow and the absence of any chaotic features. Video: [MOV (7.2MB)]
With the addition of a physically-plausible acceleration model coupled with a local collision avoidance model that adheres to the fundamental diagram, simulated pedestrians exhibit stop-and-go waves similar to real-world pedestrians. Video: [MOV (13MB)]
At higher densities, and with the inclusion of our proposed stress model, simulated pedestrians exhibit chaotic behavior similar to crowd turbulence noted in real-world crowds. Video: [MOV (31MB)]
Love Parade Scenario
Similar behavior is also observed in simulated pedestrians at the similar mean densities of 5-6 people per m2 in the Love Parade scenario. This coincides with observations of crowds during the Love Parade disaster (5:42 - 5:52) Video: [MOV (154MB)]