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Modelling and simulating the leader–follower behaviour of pedestrians in unidirectional flow

Sobhana, KP and Choubey, N and Verma, A (2023) Modelling and simulating the leader–follower behaviour of pedestrians in unidirectional flow. In: Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, 623 .

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physa.2023.128824


The following (or) queuing behaviour of pedestrians, wherein people walk one after the other in a line is a common occurrence in pedestrian facilities or crowd gatherings. Though many studies have explored this behaviour, especially using single-file experiments, this behaviour cannot be treated in isolation from other walking behaviours like overtaking or lane-changing. Also, the contemporary models assume that the person ahead is the leader by all the pedestrians. In the real-world, however, the follower may not consider their predecessor as a leader and modulate their movements according to the leader dynamics. Yet, most pedestrian models are deterministic and do not incorporate uncertainty and fluctuations of perception and behaviour. The proposed following model is nondeterministic and data-driven We propose a methodology to model the pedestrian walking dynamics in a unidirectional single channel flow by jointly modelling the aspect of probabilistic consideration of leader, lane changing, and following behaviour. The proposed behavioural model is calibrated using field data of pilgrim's movement in a narrow corridor in Kumbh Mela, a mass religious gathering in India. It is noted that the probability of lane change is directly proportional to the adjacent lane spacing and inversely proportional to the current lane spacing. The threshold spacing, within which the chances of the following pedestrian to consider the pedestrian ahead as a leader is obtained to be 1.2 m for the final model. An agent-based model is developed based on the calibrated behavioural model and several scenarios such as speed variations, gender influences, and flow variations are tested. It was observed that when few pedestrians stop in between for a while, the average speeds reduced from 1 m/s to 0.57 m/s and the probability of following pedestrians doing lane change increased. Also, the variation in spacing is observed to have more spread when the agents move slowly. The proposed agent-based microsimulation model can be used by the event managers by allowing them to test various possible scenarios during the event-preparation phase of crowd management.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to Elsevier B.V.
Keywords: Agent-based model; Leader consideration; Mass gatherings; Pedestrian behaviour
Department/Centre: Division of Interdisciplinary Sciences > Robert Bosch Centre for Cyber Physical Systems
Division of Mechanical Sciences > Civil Engineering
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2023 07:02
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2023 07:03
URI: https://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/82025

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