Environment Optimization for Crowd Evacuation

Sequence of images show the increased crowd flow as a result of pillar optimiation.

In this work we parameterize subspaces of the full environment configuration space and optimize parts of these subspaces for an agent flow metric. We focus on building configuration and optimize the possible placement of support pillars or obstacles in the environment.


The layout of a building, real or virtual, affects the flow patterns of its intended users. It is well established, for example, that the placement of pillars at proper locations can often facilitate pedestrian flow during the evacuation of a building. Such considerations are therefore important for architects, game level developers, and others whose domains involve agents navigating through buildings. In this paper, we take the first steps towards developing a simulation framework that can be used to study the optimal placement of architectural elements, such as pillars or doors, for the purposes of facilitating dense pedestrian flow during the evacuation of a building. In particular, we show that the steering algorithms used to model the local navigation abilities of the agents significantly affect the results, which motivates the need for a statistically valid approach and further study.


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