Simulating crowd evacuation with socio-cultural, cognitive, and emotional elements

C. Natalie van der Wal*, Daniel Formolo, Mark A. Robinson, Michael Minkov, Tibor Bosse

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTransactions on Computational Collective Intelligence XXVII
Number of pages39
Volume10480 LNCS
ISBN (Print)9783319706467
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event2nd Seminar on Quantitative Methods of Group Decision-Making, 2016 - Wroclaw, Poland
Duration: 25 Nov 201625 Nov 2016

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume10480 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference2nd Seminar on Quantitative Methods of Group Decision-Making, 2016


Acknowledgments. 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.

FundersFunder number
Horizon 2020 Framework Programme
Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico233883/2014-2
Horizon 2020653383


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


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