Title

Human Mobility Modeling for Robot-Assisted Evacuation in Complex Indoor Environments

Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

10-1-2016

Abstract

A large number of injuries or deaths may occur when an emergency happens in a crowded public place. The congestion at exits may slow down the egress rate due to the effect of 'faster-is-slower'. This inspires us to study how human behavior dynamically changes over time at an emergency in a complex indoor environment. In this paper, we refer the panic of evacuees to their perception of the threat and propose a panic propagation model to model how crowd panic changes during evacuation at an emergency. Combined with the existing social force model, our panic model interprets the self-driven force and interactive forces with others in human mobility. To improve evacuation efficiency, robots are introduced to guide evacuees to escape. Using dynamic environment information, we design an evacuation exit selection algorithm where the optimal exit is automatically selected by the robot with the minimum escape time. In our experiments, a real shopping mall is examined, and the dynamic behavior of panicked evacuees is simulated with the proposed panic model. The evacuation performance of using emergency evacuation robots is evaluated. The improvement of evacuation efficiency validates the effectiveness of our robot-assisted evacuation system.

Publication Title

IEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems

Volume

46

Issue

5

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