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Computer-based panic simulations

By aphrael in MLP
Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 04:00:21 AM EST
Tags: Science (all tags)

Nature reported several weeks ago on a new study by some Hungarian scientists which uses computers to model panic reactions by crowds.

The study criticizes the use of fluid dynamics to predict crowd behavior by noting that fluid dynamics assumes that the particles in a stream are unthinking, and fails to model human psychology. Their model attempts to assign numeric values to people's tendencies to maintain distance from other pedestrians, and to either follow the herd or choose to find other, less visible exits, and predicts that as people move faster, average throughput through a given doorway *decreases*. I wonder if this has applications to AI research?


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Favorite crowd stampede
o 1996 Guatemalan soccer stampede 8%
o 1997 MGM grand stampede 3%
o 1998 Hajj stampede 0%
o 1999 Hindu shrine stampede 3%
o 2000 S. African disco stampede 3%
o 2000 Ethiopian memorial ceremony stampede 1%
o 2000 Pearl Jam stampede 8%
o I hate stampedes 70%

Votes: 57
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Nature
o study
o Also by aphrael

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Computer-based panic simulations | 12 comments (11 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
For the poll... (3.60 / 5) (#2)
by Miniluv on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 12:35:37 AM EST

What about the Calgary Stampede?
"Its like someone opened my mouth and stuck a fistful of herbs in it." - Tamio Kageyama, Iron Chef 'Battle Eggplant'
Re: For the poll... (5.00 / 1) (#4)
by fluffy grue on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 01:19:34 AM EST

Polls are limited to 8 choices.
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Re: For the poll... (5.00 / 1) (#7)
by Miniluv on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 02:40:12 AM EST

Yeah, but aren't three from one year rather much, when there's such a great silly choice to throw in for humor value that's factually accurate?

Moral behavior is survival behavior above the individual level - Robert Heinlein
"Its like someone opened my mouth and stuck a fistful of herbs in it." - Tamio Kageyama, Iron Chef 'Battle Eggplant'
[ Parent ]

Re: For the poll... (1.00 / 1) (#9)
by aphrael on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 04:23:05 AM EST

Never heard of it ...

[ Parent ]
Been there... (none / 0) (#12)
by BonzoESC on Sat Oct 14, 2000 at 09:52:37 PM EST

It's not as much a stampede as the name would suggest. Those canucks are pretty good at crowd control, as I remember last time I went (Calgary's 100th anniversary - 1996?).


Normally, my sig is an image.
[ Parent ]

Just like highway traffic flow (4.33 / 3) (#3)
by DoctorE on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 01:13:18 AM EST

Modeling people is just like what has already been done with traffic flow. There is an optimum speed where you get the most number of vehicles travelling on the road. Very approximately it's half of the free speed. So if you're on a highway where the normal free speed (not counting legislated speed) is about 120 km/h, the highway will reach capacity at about 60 km/h. Below that the flow breaks down and the number of cars per hour decreases.

Computer models of traffic have similar inputs - space between vehicles, lane changes, origin-destination routes, road width... the list goes on.

So, is it AI? No, it's just breaking down the simulation into smaller and smaller parts.

I wonder if The Sims could have a panic situation occur. Maybe if a house burnt down...

Re: Just like highway traffic flow (4.00 / 1) (#6)
by bgalehouse on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 01:41:04 AM EST

There were some breakthoughs a few years ago in general crowd control. If you know what to look for, you can tell which buildings use the results, and which don't. Having all exits equally visible, with low railings or similar breaking up any large spaces in front of them (without breaking up lines of sight) makes a big difference.

Basically everybody allways walks directly towards the nearest visible exit. No sense of pressure, or of the other fluid dynamic non-localities. Not like fluid dynamics at all (not a boundary value problem). I don't remember where I read it, but it was at least a year ago.

[ Parent ]

Poll complaint (2.66 / 3) (#5)
by Elendale on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 01:22:33 AM EST

What about Vash the Stampede?

-Elendale (couldn't help myself)

When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.

Interesting story, tasteless poll! (4.66 / 3) (#8)
by guppie on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 04:12:34 AM EST

The concept of modelling crowd behaviour is intriguing, but the poll really ticked me off. I was present at the Pearl Jam stampede, and I can't imagine anyone having "a favorite crowd stampede".

(Shit, I'd never though I'd be offended by humor, as this clearly is, but before you know it, it happens to you.) Blah, what a lousy way to start a friday.

What? The land of the free? Whoever told you that is your enemy.
-Zack de la Rocha
Re: Interesting story, tasteless poll! (2.00 / 1) (#10)
by aphrael on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 04:23:34 AM EST

Oops .... sorry, it was intended as humor. *embarassed look*

[ Parent ]
Going along the same way, then... (none / 0) (#11)
by WWWWolf on Sat Oct 14, 2000 at 07:41:36 AM EST

To continue the MLP to the tasteless direction indicated by the poll, let me present yet another cool panicked-flock-computer-simulation: Sheep. (Never seen the game, but the idea sounds cool =)

And as for the favorite stampede... well, I voted for "hated them", but the poll picks are for, ahem, recent events. Everyone seems to forget certain movie...

-- Weyfour WWWWolf, a lupine technomancer from the cold north...

Computer-based panic simulations | 12 comments (11 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
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