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Modelling the impact of signage systems on pedestrian and evacuee behaviour

Modelling the impact of signage systems on pedestrian and evacuee behaviour

Kirori, Ashish (2019) Modelling the impact of signage systems on pedestrian and evacuee behaviour. PhD thesis, University of Greenwich.

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The ability to use signage information to wayfind and determine the location of facilities within buildings is an important component in the successful use of the space. In reality, there are various types of signs (routes, services, location, etc.) for general circulation and evacuation procedures, which normally form a chain along the intended route that leads to the desired target location within the premises or a place of safety; the signs do not work in isolation. Despite the importance of signage information in helping occupant identify and follow the intended route, the effectiveness of signage, depending on the design of the signage system, the environmental conditions and the viewer attributes, etc. have been generally ignored in most evacuation/pedestrian models. A few evacuation models such as PEDROUTE, buildingEXODUS and MASSEgress do have a representation of emergency exit signs allowing agents to detect signs and use this information to find a way out of the structure. However, this is mostly based on the detection and interaction with a single sign. Representing the interaction between agents and a series of signs is crucial to properly simulate people’s wayfinding behaviour, especially in an unfamiliar environment.

The work presented in this thesis is about a new signage-based navigation model developed specifically to improve the representation of the interaction between agents and series of signs in evacuation modelling (and potentially circulation modelling). The enhancement to evacuation modelling in terms of the agent wayfinding through this work includes: combining signage (with direction) and navigational graph to expand agent’s visual perception of the environment and sense of direction, introducing a preliminary form of cognitive understanding of the building layout through memory and providing individual level decision-making capability for wayfinding in both familiar and unfamiliar environments. The new model allows the simulation of the agent’s active wayfinding behaviour through detecting the signs in a chain to follow the intended route. The model also allows the agents to build up and use individual navigational experiences to search a way out when there is imperfect signage information (e.g. an incomplete signage chain) or even a lack of signage information.

The new signage-based navigation model was implemented within the buildingEXODUS evacuation simulation tool using C++ programming language. The model can also potentially be implemented within other evacuation and circulation simulation tools to allow the study of the effectiveness of signage systems in a built environment. The enhanced capability of the new model has been verified through a series of verification cases and the improvement over the existing signage model within buildingEXODUS has been demonstrated through evacuation analysis performed over a hypothetical evacuation scenario.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Wayfinding, signage-based system, signage-based navigation, evacuation modelling,
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science > School of Computing & Mathematical Sciences (CMS)
Faculty of Engineering & Science
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2022 13:06

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