Presentation Type

Poster

Keywords

Applied mathematics, swarms, Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO), emotion, airplane evacuations

Department

Mathematics

Major

Mathematics

Abstract

Motivated by the Asiana Flight 214 crash in San Francisco this summer, this project focuses on modeling an emergency airplane evacuation. Our models are based on the Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) algorithm, where each agent's position is compared to a fitness function that describes the current environment. Each agent moves according to its knowledge of its own previous best position and the group's current best position. The static environment is modeled by a potential function that describes the layout of the airplane that includes the exits and physical barriers such as the seats. We model the interactions within the swarm by an attraction-repulsion force. Finally, we chose to incorporate the spread of an emotion such as fear or panic that influences the behavior of agents within the swarm. Our project includes an analysis of how the parameters and scaling of different parts of the model affect the swarm behavior. We also compared simulations with and without fear to study the impact of emotion on individual behavior as well as the ability of the entire group to safely exit the aircraft. We hope that this will lead to increased understanding of how panicked crowds behave in evacuation situations and that this will lead to better, safer evacuation designs.

Faculty Mentor

Timothy Lucas and Jesus Rosado

Funding Source or Research Program

Summer Undergraduate Research Program, Academic Year Undergraduate Research Initiative, Undergraduate Research Fellowship

Location

Waves Cafeteria, Tyler Campus Center

Start Date

21-3-2014 2:00 PM

End Date

21-3-2014 3:00 PM

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Mar 21st, 2:00 PM Mar 21st, 3:00 PM

A Contagion Model of Emergency Airplane Evacuations

Waves Cafeteria, Tyler Campus Center

Motivated by the Asiana Flight 214 crash in San Francisco this summer, this project focuses on modeling an emergency airplane evacuation. Our models are based on the Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) algorithm, where each agent's position is compared to a fitness function that describes the current environment. Each agent moves according to its knowledge of its own previous best position and the group's current best position. The static environment is modeled by a potential function that describes the layout of the airplane that includes the exits and physical barriers such as the seats. We model the interactions within the swarm by an attraction-repulsion force. Finally, we chose to incorporate the spread of an emotion such as fear or panic that influences the behavior of agents within the swarm. Our project includes an analysis of how the parameters and scaling of different parts of the model affect the swarm behavior. We also compared simulations with and without fear to study the impact of emotion on individual behavior as well as the ability of the entire group to safely exit the aircraft. We hope that this will lead to increased understanding of how panicked crowds behave in evacuation situations and that this will lead to better, safer evacuation designs.