Crowd dynamics : modeling pedestrian movement and associated generated forces

Abstract : Crowds are present almost everywhere and affect several aspects of our lives. They are considered to be on of the most complex systems whose dynamics, resulting from individual interactions and giving rise to fascinating phenomena, is very difficult to understand and have always intrigued experts from various domains. The technological advancement, especially in computer performance, has allowed to model and simulate pedestrian movement. Research from different disciplines, such as social sciences and bio-mechanics, who are interested in studying crowd movement and pedestrian interactions were able to better examine and understand the dynamics of the crowd. Professionals from architects and transport planners to fire engineers and security advisors are also interested in crowd models that would help them to optimize the design and operation of a facility. In this thesis, we have worked on the imporvement of a discrete crowd model developed by the researchers from the dynamics group in Navier laboratory. In this model, the actions and decisions taken by each individual are treated. In its previous version, the model was used to simulate urgent evacuations. Three main aspects of the model were addressed in this thesis. The first one concerns pedestrian navigation towards a final destination. In our model, a pedestrian is represented by a disk having a willingness to head to a certain destination with a desired direction and a desired speed. A desired direction is attributed to each pedestrian, depending on his position from the exit, from a floor field that is obtained by solving the eikonal equation. Solving this equation a single time at the beginning of the simulation or several times at during the simulation allows us to obtain the shortest path or the fastest path strategy respectively. The influence of the two strategies on the collective dynamics of the crowds is compared. The second one consists of managing pedestrian-pedestrian interactions. After having chosen his/her direction according to one of the available strategies, a pedestrian is bound to interact with other pedestrians present on the chosen path. We have integrated three pedestrian behaviors in our model: (i) pushing by using an original approach based on the theory of rigid body collisions in a rigorous thermodynamics context, (ii) forcing one's way by introducing a social repulsive force and (iii) "normal" avoidance by using a cognitive approach based on two heuristics. The three methods are compared for different criteria. The last aspect is the validation and verification of the model. We have performed a sensibility study and validated the model qualitatively and quantitatively. Using a numerical experimental plan, we identified the input parameters that are the most statistically significant and estimated the effects of their interactions. Concerning qualitative validation, we showed that our model is able to reproduce several self-organization phenomena such as lane formation. Finally, our model was validated quantitatively for the case of a bottleneck. The experimental results are very close to the ones obtained from simulations. The model was also applied to pedestrian movement in the Noisy-Champs train station. The objective of the study was to estimate the train dwell time. The simulation results were similar to the observations
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Bachar Kabalan. Crowd dynamics : modeling pedestrian movement and associated generated forces. Structures. Université Paris-Est, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016PESC1126⟩. ⟨tel-01412590⟩

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