Simulating Crowd Evacuation with Socio-Cultural, Cognitive, and Emotional Elements

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10480)


In this research, the effects of culture, cognitions, and emotions on crisis management and prevention are analysed. An agent-based crowd evacuation simulation model was created, named IMPACT, to study the evacuation process from a transport hub. To extend previous research, various socio-cultural, cognitive, and emotional factors were modelled, including: language, gender, familiarity with the environment, emotional contagion, prosocial behaviour, falls, group decision making, and compliance. The IMPACT model was validated against data from an evacuation drill using the existing EXODUS evacuation model. Results show that on all measures, the IMPACT model is within or close to the prescribed boundaries, thereby establishing its validity. Structured simulations with the validated model revealed important findings, including: the effect of doors as bottlenecks, social contagion speeding up evacuation time, falling behaviour not affecting evacuation time significantly, and travelling in groups being more beneficial for evacuation time than travelling alone. This research has important practical applications for crowd management professionals, including transport hub operators, first responders, and risk assessors.


Crowd behaviour Crowd management Crowd simulation Evacuation Emotional contagion Social dynamics Culture Cognition Group-decision making 



This research was undertaken as part of the EU HORIZON 2020 Project IMPACT (GA 653383) and Science without Borders – CNPq (scholarship reference: 233883/2014-2). We would like to thank our Consortium Partners and stakeholders for their input and the Brazilian Government.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceVrije Universiteit AmsterdamAmsterdamNetherlands
  2. 2.Socio-Technical CentreLeeds University Business SchoolLeedsUK
  3. 3.Varna University of ManagementSofiaBulgaria

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