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

Bode, NWF and Kemloh Wagoum, AU and Codling, EA (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

© 2015 The Authors. 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 timeindependent 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: 05 Feb 2019 19:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/13067

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