Implementation of cognitive mapping, spatial representation and wayfinding behaviours of people within evacuation modelling tools
Veeraswamy, Anand, Lawrence, Peter and Galea, Edwin (2009) Implementation of cognitive mapping, spatial representation and wayfinding behaviours of people within evacuation modelling tools. Human Behaviour in Fire 2009 - Conference Proceedings. Interscience Communications Ltd., Greenwich, London, UK, pp. 501-512. ISBN 978-0-9556548-3-1Full text not available from this repository.
Within the building evacuation context, wayfinding describes the process in which an individual located within an arbitrarily complex enclosure attempts to find a path which leads them to relative safety, usually the exterior of the enclosure. Within most evacuation modelling tools, wayfinding is completely ignored; agents are either assigned the shortest distance path or use a potential field to find the shortest path to the exits.
In this paper a novel wayfinding technique that attempts to represent the manner in which people wayfind within structures is introduced and demonstrated through two examples. The first step is to encode the spatial information of the enclosure in terms of a graph. The second step is to apply search algorithms to the graph to find possible routes to the destination and assign a cost to the routes based on their personal route preferences such as "least time" or "least distance" or a combination of criteria. The third step is the route execution and refinement.
In this step, the agent moves along the chosen route and reassesses the route at regular intervals and may decide to take an alternative path if the agent determines that an alternate route is more favourable e.g. initial path is highly congested or is blocked due to fire.
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