A simulation of attempts to influence crowd dynamics
Kirkland, Joel A. ; Maciejewski, Anthony A.
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An understanding of how to alter crowd dynamics would have a significant impact in a number of scenarios, e.g., during riots or evacuations. The social force model, where individuals are self-driven particles interacting through social and physical forces, is one approach that has been used to describe crowd dynamics. This work uses the framework of the social force model to study the effects of introducing autonomous robots into crowds. Two simple pedestrian flow problems are used as illustrative examples, namely flow in varying width hallways and lane formation in bidirectional pedestrian flow. Preliminary results indicate that robots capable of inducing an attractive social force are effective at improving pedestrian flow in both of these scenarios.