A review on the performance of an obstacle near an exit on pedestrian crowd evacuation

Shiwakoti, N, Shi, X and Ye, Z 2019, 'A review on the performance of an obstacle near an exit on pedestrian crowd evacuation', Safety Science 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved, vol. 113, pp. 54-67.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title A review on the performance of an obstacle near an exit on pedestrian crowd evacuation
Author(s) Shiwakoti, N
Shi, X
Ye, Z
Year 2019
Journal name Safety Science 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved
Volume number 113
Start page 54
End page 67
Total pages 14
Publisher Elsevier BV
Abstract In a pioneering work in Nature journal, a counter-intuitive prediction that escape rates of people under panic conditions will be enhanced if an obstacle such as a column or a barrier is placed on the upstream side of an exit was demonstrated through a simulation model. However, the prediction lacked empirical verification. Despite the substantial works in this topic in the past decade, there is currently a lack of knowledge on how and to what extent the obstacle near an exit can enhance the pedestrian outflow at the bottlenecks during emergency escape. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to present a critical review on the performance of an obstacle near an exit and identify future research directions. It is found that although there is a general consensus on the beneficial effect of an obstacle, there is a large uncertainty on the situations on which the positive effect of obstacle could be observed. In addition, verification of the model's prediction with empirical data with humans is still largely unexplored. There is no clear established relationship between the exit width, obstacle distance and obstacle size/shape. Also, quantitative understanding of the nature of the clogging transition due to obstacle is a challenging task. Further, researchers have questioned the implementation of such obstacles at bottlenecks in real life scenario. A systematic approach of optimising architectural adjustments that enhances escape dynamics of pedestrians crowd in indoor and outdoor public spaces needs to be conducted in future.
Subject Transport Engineering
Keyword(s) Crowd dynamics
Evacuation
Collective behaviour
Bottleneck
Animal dynamics
DOI - identifier 10.1016/j.ssci.2018.11.016
Copyright notice © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
ISSN 0925-7535
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