Exitus: Agent-Based Evacuation Simulation for Individuals with Disabilities in a Densely Populated Sports Arena

Exitus: Agent-Based Evacuation Simulation for Individuals with Disabilities in a Densely Populated Sports Arena

Matthew Manley (Utah State University, USA) and Yong Seog Kim (Utah State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/jiit.2012040101
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Abstract

Emergency evacuation of critical infrastructure assets such as sports arenas is an important consideration given the continuing threat of terrorist attacks which inordinately affect them. In this paper, the authors present an agent-based evacuation model which may be used to support private sector organizations with capabilities-based planning efforts surrounding likely terrorist attack scenarios. The model is distinguished by its explicit consideration of individuals with disabilities in respect to the characteristics influencing their ability to negotiate surroundings. The results of an experiment simulating the truck bombing of an intermountain west sports arena reveal special areas of concern for arena managers and identify those who are most at risk or individuals with lower stamina. Ultimately, the model can be used to inform policymakers of more effective, evidence-based evacuation planning methods based on a better understanding of the behavior of heterogeneous populations during emergency situations.
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2. Literature Review

Evacuation simulation models can be broadly categorized according to the specificity of the human component. From this perspective, three general approaches are evident from the literature, macroscopic, microscopic, and mesoscopic. Macroscopic modeling is characterized as a top-down approach in which collective pedestrian dynamics such as spatial density or average velocity are related to model parameters through a closed-form formula (Lovas, 1994). Microscopic modeling is characterized as a bottom-up approach in which pedestrians are modeled as individual entities; formulae encapsulating spatial transition probabilities are repeatedly applied leading to temporal changes in state or behavior (Burstedde, Klauck, Schadschneider, & Zittartz, 2001). Mesoscopic modeling is a combination of both macro and micro techniques. Though agent movement is individually specified it is still dependent on aggregate flow conditions rather than interactions with other agents (Hoogendoorn & Bovy, 2000).

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