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Information use by humans during dynamic route choice in virtual crowd evacuations

Bode, Nikolai WF and Kemloh Wagoum, Armel U and Codling, Edward A (2015) 'Information use by humans during dynamic route choice in virtual crowd evacuations.' Royal Society Open Science, 2 (1). p. 140410. ISSN 2054-5703

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We conducted a computer-based experiment with over 450 human participants and used a Bayesian model selection approach to explore dynamic exit route choice mechanisms of individuals in simulated crowd evacuations. In contrast to previous work, we explicitly explore the use of time-dependent and time-independent information in decision-making. Our findings suggest that participants tended to base their exit choices on time-dependent information, such as differences in queue lengths and queue speeds at exits rather than on time-independent information, such as differences in exit widths or exit route length. We found weak support for similar decision-making mechanisms under a stress-inducing experimental treatment. However, under this treatment participants were less able or willing to adjust their original exit choice in the course of the evacuation. Our experiment is not a direct test of behaviour in real evacuations, but it does highlight the role different types of information and stress play in real human decision-making in a virtual environment. Our findings may be useful in identifying topics for future study on real human crowd movements or for developing more realistic agent-based simulations.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: decision-making; crowd evacuations; virtual environment; route choice; Bayesian model selection
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Mathematical Sciences, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2015 16:49
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2022 11:40

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