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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). ISSN 2054-5703

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Abstract

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
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Mathematical Sciences, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2015 16:49
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2020 11:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/13067

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