Development of a Simulation Model for Pedestrian Evacuation under Fire Condition

Zhenyu Wang, Old Dominion University
Hong Yang, Old Dominion University
Zelin Zhu, Old Dominion University


Understanding pedestrian behavior under emergency conditions is critical for emergency preparedness. However, the high cost associated with field experiments limited the opportunities for exploring large-scale pedestrian behavior under various emergency scenarios. As an alternative, pedestrian modeling and simulation has become increasingly important in emergency studies. An efficient and valid simulation model that can facilitate the analyses and tests of different emergency management plans is still needed. Thus, this study aims to develop an improved simulation model for analyzing pedestrian movement under fire evacuation. The proposed model was built upon conventional social force model but with extended module addressing pedestrian behavior changes. The model was incorporated in simulation under Unity context and verified from different aspects. The proposed model was then applied to a fire evacuation experiment. Comparative experiments were conducted and the simulation results suggest that the proposed model is more appropriate for simulating pedestrian behavior under fire evacuation.