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DFG project

Quantitative description of jam formation in pedestrian streams

For the design of escape routes in buildings and large scale events reliable specifications and tools for the dimensioning of pedestrian facilities are needed. However, up to now fundamental questions regarding the dynamics of large pedestrian streams are open. This is reflected in conflicting building regulations within Germany. The aim of our project is to achieve a reliable quantitative description of pedestrian streams by experiments and modeling.

Results from models indicate that the heterogeneity of pedestrians influence the formation of jams in pedestrian streams. In the proposed project this hypothesis will be tested experimentally. We expect to improve our understanding of the emergence of critical situations in pedestrian streams. In the modeling we will try to improve on recent developments where the focus was on the precise modeling of volume exclusion. Now we try to realize an improved steering of the agents, considering a forecast of the environment. With this we want to describe quantitatively the dynamics of pedestrian streams at corners, T-junctions and bidirectional streams.

We are working on this project together with Prof. Andreas Schadschneider, Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of Cologne.

Grant period: August 2013 − August 2016