Examining effect of architectural adjustment on pedestrian crowd flow at bottleneck

Shi, X, Ye, Z, Shiwakoti, N, Tang, D and Lin, J 2019, 'Examining effect of architectural adjustment on pedestrian crowd flow at bottleneck', Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, vol. 522, pp. 350-364.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Examining effect of architectural adjustment on pedestrian crowd flow at bottleneck
Author(s) Shi, X
Ye, Z
Shiwakoti, N
Tang, D
Lin, J
Year 2019
Journal name Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Volume number 522
Start page 350
End page 364
Total pages 15
Publisher Elsevier BV
Abstract Recent advances in bottleneck studies have highlighted that different architectural adjustments at the exit may reduce the probability of clogging at the exit thereby enhancing the outflow of the individuals. However, those studies are mostly limited to the controlled experiments with non-human organisms or predictions from simulation models. Complementary data with human subjects to test the model's prediction is limited in literature. This study aims to examine the effect of different geometrical layouts at the exit towards the pedestrian flow via controlled laboratory experiments with human participants. The experimental setups involve pedestrian flow through 14 different geometrical configurations that include different exit locations and obstacles near exit under normal and slow running conditions. It was found that corner exit performed better than middle exit under same obstacle condition. Further, it was observed that the effectiveness of obstacle is sensitive to its size and distance from the exit. Thus, with careful architectural adjustment within a standard escape area, a substantial increase in outflow under normal and slow running conditions could be achieved. However, it was also observed that placing the obstacle too close to the exit can reduce outflow under both normal and slow running conditions. Moreover, we could not observe "faster-is-slower" effect under slow running condition and instead noticed "faster-is-faster" effect. In addition, the power law fitted headway distribution demonstrated that any architectural configurations that enhanced the outflow have higher exponent value compared to the other configuration that negates the outflow. The findings from this paper demonstrate that there is a scope to adjust the architectural elements to optimize the maximum outflow at the egress point. Further, the output from the experiments can be used to develop and verify mathematical models intended to simulate crowd evacuation.
Subject Transport Engineering
Keyword(s) Crowd dynamics
Room evacuation
Exit position
Obstacle position
Column size
DOI - identifier 10.1016/j.physa.2019.01.086
Copyright notice © 2019 Published by Elsevier B.V.
ISSN 0378-4371
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