FEMTC 2018

The Unintended Consequences of Ignoring Evacuee Response

S.M.V. Gwynne - Movement Strategies


It is critical to be skeptical of computational evacuation models – as it is with all modelling efforts However, it is just as important to understand what constitutes a model This presentation covers various approaches to modelling The key is that skepticism and curiosity is maintained (or increased) but applied to all modelling endeavours.

The Conceptual Model of Evacuee Response

  • Testing the basic understanding –logic, but also scope, refinement, moderation, translation, etc.
  • The benefits and dangers of an analogy
  • Example: The Procedural Implications of Adopting Different Conceptual Models

Deductive Approaches

  • At a very minimum – for Scenario Development
  • State initial assumptions (based on conceptual understanding) and derive consequences that follow
  • Example: The Impact of Social Groups on Large Crowds

Inductive Approaches – The Bread and Butter of computational modelling

  • Projecting outcomes with a reasonable degree of confidence based on the credibility of our conceptual understanding and the process by which it translates initial conditions to a future projected state.
  • Importance of understanding the active agents and the modes by which emergent conditions are produced – agent decision-making and agent interaction -Example: The stages of evacuee interaction with emergency signs

Abductive Approaches – Pragmatic attempts to develop candidate explanations

  • Imperfect by definition – affirming the consequent by design
  • Assessing behavioural explanations by bounding the conditions -Demonstration: Testing candidate explanations

The cascading impact of evacuation models on fire modelling

  • The evil door and its pervasive impact on outcomes



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