ALFIL: A Crowd Simulation Serious Game for Massive Evacuation Training and Awareness

ALFIL: A Crowd Simulation Serious Game for Massive Evacuation Training and Awareness

César García-García (Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico), José Luis Fernández-Robles (Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico), Victor Larios-Rosillo (Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico) and Hervé Luga (Institut de Recherche en Informatique de Toulouse, France)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/ijgbl.2012070105
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Abstract

This article presents the current development of a serious game for the simulation of massive evacuations. The purpose of this project is to promote self-protection through awareness of the procedures and different possible scenarios during the evacuation of a massive event. Sophisticated behaviors require massive computational power and it has been necessary to implement several distributed programming techniques to simulate crowds of thousands of people. Even with the current state of computer hardware, the costs of building and operating this hardware is still prohibitive; so, it‘s preferred to apply distributed programming techniques running on specialized parallel computing hardware.
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Problem Description

In the last decade, social-organizational phenomena such as human stampedes, panic attacks and, in general, lack of self-protection awareness have greatly become a threat in Mexico as shown in various news sources such as BBC News (“Deadly stampede at Mexico disco,” 2008; “Mexico football match abandoned,” 2011), Caballeri (2011), El Informador (“Pánico en el Corona,” 2011), etc.

We understand this as a threat given that in some situations the general population has failed to apply adequate self-protection measures, especially during evacuations.

Even if Mexican law (2006) contemplates self-protection awareness and training for the general population, no effort is wasted in promoting awareness, specifically for massive events where thousands of people congregate in the same venue.

We have decided to create a serious game where such events can be realistically simulated and studied, with the main purpose of promoting self-protection awareness in the general population, and a secondary purpose of serving as a planning and training tool for first responders and massive event organizers.

We have divided this problem into several smaller parts, namely:

  • Creation of an artificial brain to represent each person in the event.

  • Modeling of individual behaviours, including specific personality factors for each actor.

  • Replication of individuals into crowds, where emergent behaviours, such as the proposed by Musse and Thalmann (2000) and flock behaviours, as per Reynolds (1987), will provide realism.

  • Creation of 3D models of the real venues where massive events will be held.

  • Creation of realistic humanoid models to enhance immersion.

  • Generation of a virtual environment where people can interact during the simulations, providing for collaborative learning.

  • Distributing the processing requirements of the simulation, so that the burden of processing is taken by the High Performance Computing (HPC) platform.

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