Pedestrian Route Choice Simulation Using Mixed Methods

Sense Editor
August 30, 2012

ABSTRACT

Determination of optimal paths in complex buildings is an open research question. Estimating more realistic route choices for the purpose of simulation would be desirable from a number of perspectives. These perspectives include the optimization of building design for ease of wayfinding; accurate prediction of crowding in emergency evacuation scenarios and accurate prediction of movement patterns in scenarios of normal use. In addition, such findings could also be used in assisted navigation technologies and to facilities management applications. However, when it comes to creating a description that is tractable to different analytic and simulation techniques, the current state of the art is fraught with unsatisfactory trade-offs between different representational paradigms.

We hypothesize that schools fall into the category of complex building. The need to provide useful information on such buildings has led to the exploration of a mixed-mode approach to building representation for the purpose of pedestrian route choice analysis and simulation. This paper presents a real world school environment, with a complex spatial structure, coupled with a route choice scenario that allows us to compare three different alternatives for the representation and selection of a route from one classroom to another.

This paper presents three methods of representing space and finding shortest or least cost paths for the purpose of pedestrian movement simulation in complex built environments. It evaluates the advantages and disadvantages of these methods and the benefits of mixing them in order to throw more light on plausible route choice models that take into account cognitive factors in pedestrian way-finding and route choice.