Group Parameters for Social Groups in Evacuation Scenarios

  • Cornelia von KrüchtenEmail author
  • Andreas Schadschneider
Conference paper


Social groups are often an essential part of pedestrian crowds and influence their behaviour. In order to describe not only the influence of social groups in evacuations on entire pedestrian crowds, but also the dynamics of the groups themselves, we introduce a new set of quantitative group parameters. This set includes (1) the centre of mass of social groups with its velocity and orientation and (2) the shape of the groups. They are approximated as an ellipse of minimal area while containing all social group members. The main properties of this ellipse give some indication about the dynamics of the members, whereas the centre of mass quantities describe the dynamics of an entire social group. By combining both aspects it is possible to determine whether the members order along the group’s direction of movement. Additionally, the orientation of the social groups is determined via a gyration tensor approach. All quantities are determined from data of an experimental study on the influence of social groups on pedestrian evacuation dynamics. This study investigated several evacuation scenarios with groups and was performed in schools. Young adults performed evacuation runs including social groups of different sizes.



We thank the teams of Forschungszentrum Jülich and University Wuppertal and the pupils and teachers of the participating schools. Financial support by the Deutsche Forschungsgesellschaft (DFG) under grant SCHA 636/9-1 and Bonn-Cologne Graduate School of Physics and Astronomy (BCGS) is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cornelia von Krüchten
    • 1
    Email author
  • Andreas Schadschneider
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institut für Theoretische PhysikUniversität zu KölnCologneGermany
  2. 2.Institut für PhysikdidaktikUniversität zu KölnCologneGermany

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