Some Effect Of Interpersonal Distance Constraints In Modeling Wayout Finding From An Exhibition Hall

Fabio Alaimo Ponziani - Ministry of the Interior - Italy

Abstract

The aim of this study is to capture some effect of interpersonal distance constraints in modeling agent based way-out finding. The study was triggered by the all-dramatic experience of the COVID-19 pandemic, where adoption of interpersonal distance limitation is one of the actions used to try to limit the spread of the virus between people.

One case study is presented here: an exhibition hall where people may gather in and move around, until an alarm make people realize the need to find their way-out through the exit to a safe place nearby. The hall is a room-like space, with one entrance on one side and two exit doors on the opposite side. Virtual artworks are in place, where people are divided in two main groups: visitors with a leader following some path along the artworks, and curious people wandering about.

The model takes into account the presence of some interpersonal distance to be maintained, at least in principle, from people to people, either before and after the alarm heard – and understood – for starting the move out of the hall. Two Agent Based Modeling Tools are used: Pathfinder and NetLogo, with some similarities and differences in describing the space and the people, in programming the rules of action and in obtaining the behavioral emergence response.

The presence of the interpersonal distance constraint is one of the clues that are investigated in order to modeling the interactions and to monitoring possible noise effects on the people’s ability to maintain the constraint while moving. Thus, modeling the interpersonal distance between the agents gives the opportunity of describing and exploring one critical parameter and some of its effects in the way the agents move inside the hall and then get to their safe place out through the exits available.

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