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Chin. Phys. B, 2021, Vol. 30(9): 098903    DOI: 10.1088/1674-1056/ac0ee8
INTERDISCIPLINARY PHYSICS AND RELATED AREAS OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY Prev   Next  

Using agent-based simulation to assess diseaseprevention measures during pandemics

Yunhe Tong(童蕴贺)1, Christopher King1,†, and Yanghui Hu(胡杨慧)2,‡
1 Department of Engineering Mathematics, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1UB, UK;
2 State Key Laboratory of Fire Science, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230027, China
Abstract  Despite the growing interest in macroscopic epidemiological models to deal with threats posed by pandemics such as COVID-19, little has been done regarding the assessment of disease spread in day-to-day life, especially within buildings such as supermarkets where people must obtain necessities at the risk of exposure to disease. Here, we propose an integrated customer shopping simulator including both shopper movement and choice behavior, using a force-based and discrete choice model, respectively. By a simple extension to the force-based model, we implement the following preventive measures currently taken by supermarkets; social distancing and one-way systems, and different customer habits, assessing them based on the average individual disease exposure and the time taken to complete shopping (shopping efficiency). Results show that maintaining social distance is an effective way to reduce exposure, but at the cost of shopping efficiency. We find that the one-way system is the optimal strategy for reducing exposure while minimizing the impact on shopping efficiency. Customers should also visit supermarkets less frequently, but buy more when they do, if they wish to minimize their exposure. We hope that this work demonstrates the potential of pedestrian dynamics simulations in assessing preventative measures during pandemics, particularly if it is validated using empirical data.
Keywords:  pedestrian dynamics      occupant exposure      COVID-19      simulation study  
Received:  31 March 2021      Revised:  07 June 2021      Accepted manuscript online:  28 June 2021
PACS:  89.40.-a (Transportation)  
  07.05.Tp (Computer modeling and simulation)  
  05.65.+b (Self-organized systems)  
Fund: Project supported by the China Scholarship Council (Grant No. 201906370050).
Corresponding Authors:  Christopher King, Yanghui Hu     E-mail:  aa18187@bristol.ac.uk;huyang1@mail.ustc.edu.cn

Cite this article: 

Yunhe Tong(童蕴贺), Christopher King, and Yanghui Hu(胡杨慧) Using agent-based simulation to assess diseaseprevention measures during pandemics 2021 Chin. Phys. B 30 098903

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