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Title: Crowd dynamics
Author: Still, G. Keith
ISNI:       0000 0001 3485 7617
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2000
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Crowd dynamics are complex. This thesis examines the nature of the crowd and its dynamics with specific reference to the issues of crowd safety. A model (Legion) was developed that simulates the crowd as an emergent phenomenon using simulated annealing and mobile cellular automata. We outline the elements of that model based on the interaction of four parameters: Objective, Motility, Constraint and Assimilation. The model treats every entity as an individual and it can simulate how people read and react to their environment in a variety of conditions. Which allows the user to study a wide range of crowd dynamics in different geometries and highlights the interactions of the crowd with their environment. We demonstrate that the model runs in polynomial time and can be used to assess the limits of crowd safety during normal and emergency egress. Over the last 10 years there have been many incidents of crowd related disasters. We highlight deficiencies in the existing guidelines relating to crowds. We compare and contrast the model with the safety guidelines and highlight specific areas where the guides may be improved. We demonstrate that the model is capable of reproducing these dynamics without additional parameters, satisfying Occam's Razor. The model is tested against known crowd dynamics from field studies, including Wembley Stadium, Balham Station and the Hong Kong Jockey club. We propose an alternative approach to assessing the dynamics of the crowd through the use of the simulation and analysis of least effort behaviour. Finally we test the model in a variety of applications where crowd related incidents warrant structural alterations at client sites. We demonstrate that the model explains the variance in a variety of field measurements, that it is robust and that it can be applied to future designs where safety and crowd comfort are criteria for design and cost savings.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QA Mathematics