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Mathematical Algorithms Calculate Social Behavior

Moving across a square groups of people create patterns which can be analyzed mathematically.

Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) are currently developing tools that will allow them to simulate and improve security at major events, or to increase the efficiency of evacuation measures.

Credit: Andreas Battenberg/TUM

Predicting and influencing human behavior is well on its way to becoming reality, according to researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TU Munich) in Germany, who have proved mathematical statements that demonstrate how surprisingly easy it is to automatically generate precise models for specific, relatively simple group interactions based on observed dynamics data.

Using computer simulations, the researchers can describe potential collective behavioral patterns of a large number of individuals who mutually influence each other in a given situation.

The team is now developing appropriate tools that could be used to predict the behavior of groups and influence them.

The researchers say the tools could be used to simulate and improve security at major events or increase the efficiency of evacuating people in emergency situations.

They note forecasts work best with groups that show generalized patterns of behavior, which helps protect against the abuse of such mathematical modeling. "

The good news in this context is that we have also proven that behavior is not so easy to predict or control for all kinds of dynamics and situations," says Massimo Fornasier, chair of TU Munich's Department of Applied Numerical Analysis.

From Technical University of Munich (Germany)
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Abstracts Copyright © 2016 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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