Pedestrian flow optimization with a genetic algorithm based on Boolean grids
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.
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