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Crowd Evacuation for Indoor Public Spaces Using Coulomb’s Law

DOI: 10.1155/2012/340615

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This paper focuses on designing a tool for guiding a group of people out of a public building when they are faced with dangerous situations that require immediate evacuation. Despite architectural attempts to produce safe floor plans and exit door placements, people will still commit to fatal route decisions. Since they have access to global views, we believe supervisory people in the control room can use our simulation tools to determine the best courses of action for people. Accordingly, supervisors can guide people to safety. In this paper, we combine Coulomb’s electrical law, graph theory, and convex and centroid concepts to demonstrate a computer-generated evacuation scenario that divides the environment into different safe boundaries around the locations of each exit door in order to guide people through exit doors safely and in the most expedient time frame. Our mechanism continually updates the safe boundaries at each moment based on the latest location of individuals who are present inside the environment. Guiding people toward exit doors depends on the momentary situations in the environment, which in turn rely on the specifications of each exit door. Our mechanism rapidly adapts to changes in the environment in terms of moving agents and changes in the environmental layout that might be caused by explosions or falling walls. 1. Introduction The gathering of a group of people at the same location and time is called a crowd. People who form the crowd often share a common activity. In order to study crowd evacuation, we need to have clear understanding of all their relevant attributes. Determining crowd dynamics based on their psychological identifications is one of the many ways that is broadly explored by previous researches. Crowd dispersion is unpredictable. There are many studies conducted that explore crowd behavior from different perspectives. One of the major crowd behaviors with psychological underpinnings is identified as deindividuation, which is the situation where antinormative individual behavior is exhibited in groups in which individuals are not seen as separate individuals. Simply put, deindividuation is blending in a group such that the individual decision making ceases to be observed separately. Submergence is largely acknowledged as the root of contemporary theories of deindividuation, [1]. Numerous studies have explored relationships between deindividuation and behavioral changes [1–6]. It is important to understand how individuals conceive themselves in the crowd since once being a member of a crowd they no longer act

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