Simulation of People’s Movements on Floors Using Social Force Model

  • Ahmed S. Mohammed
  • Aleksandar Pavic
Conference paper
Part of the Conference Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics Series book series (CPSEMS)


Vibration serviceability assessment of floors has been traditionally based on a scenario of a single person walking along a path which will generate maximum vibration level. This is due to the difficulty of predicting the real positions and paths of the walking people. With such a design scenario, it is possible to obtain calculated responses, which could be both over- or under-estimated, depending on the specifics. This could be due to considering only one person walking along one walking path in the simulations. This aspect in the design guidelines could be improved if realistic modelling of people’s movements is utilised. Hence, this paper examines the performance of the social force model to simulate the behaviour of people’s movements on floors. This method has been widely used to model a crowd of people in evacuation and panic situations. However, it has been reported in the literature that this approach could be used to model people’s movements in normal situations as well. The simulation carried out in this paper focuses on the interaction between walking people themselves and between walking people and the surrounding boundaries in typical office floors. The results show that reasonable and realistic behaviour of the floor occupants could be obtained using the social force model. Furthermore, utilising the ‘heatmap’ can help the designers to visualise and obtain information about the proportion of time spent by walking individuals at various points on the floor. This approach can be adopted in a more realistic procedure for the vibration serviceability assessment of floors.


Social force model people’s movements Walking path Floors Vibration serviceability 



The authors are grateful for the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences in the University of Exeter for the financial support they provided for the first author and his PhD program. The authors would also like to acknowledge the financial support provided by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) for grant reference EP/K03877X/1 (‘Modelling complex and partially identified engineering problems- Application to the individualised multiscale simulation of the musculoskeletal system’).


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Copyright information

© The Society for Experimental Mechanics, Inc. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Vibration Engineering SectionCollege of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, University of ExeterExeterUK

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