Kathrin Grewolls - Simtego
In August 2020 Thunderhead Engineering introduced a social distance behaviour to Pathfinder. Since Pathfinder version 2020.3, it has been possible to use social distance behaviour as a method to address pandemic safety in evacuation simulations. Other than Personal Distance, which is measured from shoulder-to-shoulder and which is not strictly enforced, Social Distance is measured center-to-center, and it is enforced. The objective of this work was to investigate if agents or groups with Social Distances show longer jam and evacuation times than agents in the same rooms with the same density or maximum possible density but only with Personal Distances. It was of further interest, whether there is a substantial difference for cases with groups that keep contrasting Social Distances from relatively small (1.0 m) to large (3.0 m) during the same simulation. In order to get comparable results, the study was limited to three different rooms: 250 m², 500 m² and 1,000 m², with overall 20 variations (cases). For every case, simulations of 500 different Monte Carlo samples were performed. In total, more than 10,000 simulation runs were carried out.
Density and Social Distance do have an influence on jam and evacuation times for rooms with maximum density. The strongest effect is observed if agents are given a constant Social Distance. Evacuation times with agent groups keeping a Social Distance of minimum 1.5 m increase up to factor of 2.4 in comparison to simulations with Agents that are only given Personal Distances while jam times are also increasing by a factor of 1.9.
The factor by which evacuation and jam times increase due to additional modelling of enforced Social Distance depends on the size of the investigated room. This factor is bigger for larger rooms.