The Unintended Consequences of Ignoring Evacuee Response

S.M.V. Gwynne – Movement Strategies


It is critical to be skeptical of computational evacuation models – as it is with all modelling efforts. However, it is just as important to understand what constitutes a model. This presentation covers various approaches to modelling. The key is that skepticism and curiosity is maintained (or increased) but applied to all modelling endeavours.

The Conceptual Model of Evacuee Response

  • Testing the basic understanding –logic, but also scope, refinement, moderation, translation, etc.
  • The benefits and dangers of an analogy
  • Example: The Procedural Implications of Adopting Different Conceptual Models

Deductive Approaches

  • At a very minimum – for Scenario Development
  • State initial assumptions (based on conceptual understanding) and derive consequences that follow
  • Example: The Impact of Social Groups on Large Crowds

Inductive Approaches – The Bread and Butter of computational modelling

  • Projecting outcomes with a reasonable degree of confidence based on the credibility of our conceptual understanding and the process by which it translates initial conditions to a future projected state.
  • Importance of understanding the active agents and the modes by which emergent conditions are produced – agent decision-making and agent interaction
  • Example: The stages of evacuee interaction with emergency signs

Abductive Approaches – Pragmatic attempts to develop candidate explanations

  • Imperfect by definition – affirming the consequent by design
  • Assessing behavioural explanations by bounding the conditions
  • Demonstration: Testing candidate explanations

The cascading impact of evacuation models on fire modelling

  • The evil door and its pervasive impact on outcomes



Paper Presentation
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