Building occupants perceive information about the surrounding environment and navigate for safety during emergency evacuation (egress). They often decide on their actions by interacting with their social groups and by observing the actions of the surrounding crowds. Most egress simulators, however, ignore individuals’ crowd perceptions and social interactions. This paper presents a novel platform, SAFEgress, in which occupants of a building are modeled as agents that decide their evacuation actions based on their knowledge of the building and their interactions with the social groups and the surrounding people. Results from the SAFEgress prototype show that both agents’ familiarity with the building and social influence can significantly impact the egress performance. By simulating different occupants’ behaviors, architects and facility managers can potentially gain a better understanding of the influence of human and social factors on evacuation and design safer buildings and egress procedures.
we study the effects of social behaviors and agents’ familiarity with the building on evacuations. A modified floor plan of a museum is used as the building model. As shown in Figure 12, the building has one main entrance and two emergency exits and is occupied by 220 agents. We investigate the change in egress performance by varying two agents’ attributes. The first attribute is the level of group compliance with two possible values: low degree of compliance (I) or high degree of compliance (II). The second attribute is the level of familiarity with three possible values: high level of familiarity (A), medium level of familiarity (B), or low level of familiarity (C). For all six cases, we assume 50% of the agents have a high familiarity with the building.
Case IA: individuals with high familiarity Click to download movie
Case IB: individuals with medium familiarity Click to download movie
Case IC: individuals with low familiarity Click to download movie
Case IIA: groups with high familiarity Click to download movie
Case IIB: groups with medium familiarity Click to download movie
Case IIC: groups with low familiarity Click to download movie