Pedestrian flow optimization with a genetic algorithm based on Boolean grids

  • A. Johansson
  • D. Helbing


When a large group of pedestrians is to be evacuated out of a building, one of the most dangerous locations is at the doors. In emergency situations when pedestrians panic or fear for their lives, they tend to force their ways out, even if the exits are jammed, which creates a clogging phenomenon that is much more pronounced during an evacuation than under normal conditions. It has been shown that it is possible to increase the outflow by suitably placing a pillar or some other type of obstacle in front of the exit, which reduces the inter-pedestrian pressure in front of the door, decreases the magnitude of clogging and therefore makes the overall outflow higher and more regular. To investigate how the architectural infrastructure in the vicinity of a door, or other bottleneck, shall be constructed to maximize the pedestrian outflow under evacuation conditions, we present a method based on a Genetic Algorithm.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    K. Bolay: Nichtlineare Phänomene in einem Fluid-Dynamischen Verkehrsmodell, Master Thesis, University of Stuttgart (1998).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    R. Escobar and A. de la Rosa: Architectural Design for the Survival Optimization. of Panicking Fleeing Victims, Presented at 7th European Conference on Artificial Life (ECAL 2003), Dortmund, Germany, September 14–17 (2003).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    D. Helbing, P. Molnár, I. Farkas, and K. Bolay: Self-Organizing Pedestrian Movement, Environment and Planning B, pp. 361–383 (2001).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    D. Helbing, L. Buzna, A. Johansson, and T. Werner: Self-Organized Pedestrian. Crowd Dynamics: Simulations, Experiments, and Design Solutions, Transportation Science, 39(1), pp. 1–24 (2005).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    K. Deb and T. Goel: A Hybrid Multi-Objective Evolutionary Approach to Engineering. Shape Design, In: Proceedings of the First International Conference on Evolutionary Multi-Criterion Optimization (EMO-2001), 7–9 March, Zurich, Switzerland, pp. 385–399 (2001).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    D. Helbing: A Mathematical Model for the Behavior of Pedestrians, In: Behavioral Science 36, pp. 298–310 (1991).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    D. Helbing, I. Farkas, and T. Vicsek: Simulating Dynamical Features of Escape Panic, In: Nature 407, pp. 487–490 (2000).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    D. Helbing, I. J. Farkás, P. Molnár, and T. Vicsek: Simulation of pedestrian crowds in normal and evacuation situations, In: M. Schreckenberg and S.D. Sharma (Eds.), Proceedings of the International Conference on Pedestrian and Evacuation Dynamics, Springer Berlin, pp. 21–58 (2002).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Johansson
    • 1
  • D. Helbing
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Transport and EconomicsDresden University of TechnologyDresdenGermany

Personalised recommendations