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Simulator Computes Evacuation Scenarios for Major Events

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Technical University Munich (TUM) researchers are leading the Interactive Pedestrian Simulation for Regional Evacuation (REPKA) project, which is developing emergency evacuation software that can be used to compute different scenarios at specific venues and simulate the behavior of tens of thousands of people.

The researchers say the simulator could help organizers identify variables in advance. "We can use the program to run any number of 'what-if' simulations," says TUM researcher Angelika Kneidl.

The REPKA project was developed by researchers from several universities and companies in collaboration with the authorities and security services in Kaiserslautern.

The simulator is based on a force model in which destinations, obstacles, and people all exert a force on individual pedestrians."One of the challenges was to model these forces in such a way that the program can be applied to all possible scenarios and behavior patterns," says TUM professor Andre Borrmann. 

The program is designed as a training simulator that users can operate themselves. "Our aim, however, is to prevent panic from breaking out in the first place through proactive planning," Kneidl says.

From Technical University Munich (Germany)
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