Influence of different merging angles of pedestrian flows on evacuation time
The growing number of fires and other types of catastrophes occurring at large events highlights the need to rethink safety concepts and also to include new ways to optimize buildings and venues where events are held. Although there have been some attempts to model and simulate the movement of pedestrian crowds, little knowledge has been gathered to better understand the impact of the built environment and its geometric characteristics on the crowd dynamics. This paper presents computer simulations about pedestrians’ crowd dynamics that were conducted based on the Social Force Model. The influence of different configurations of pedestrian flows merging during emergency evacuations was investigated. In this study, 12 designs with different merging angles were examined, simulating the evacuation of 400 people in each scenario. The Planung Transport Verkehr (PTV, German for Planning Transport Traffic) Viswalk module of the PTV Vissim software (PTV Group, Karlsruhe, Germany) program was adopted, which allows the employment of the Social Force approach. The results demonstrate that both symmetric and asymmetric scenarios are sensitive to the angles of convergence between pedestrian flows.
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