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Chin. Phys. B, 2022, Vol. 31(6): 060402    DOI: 10.1088/1674-1056/ac4a66
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Simulation of crowd dynamics in pedestrian evacuation concerning panic contagion: A cellular automaton approach

Guan-Ning Wang(王冠宁)1,3, Tao Chen(陈涛)1,†, Jin-Wei Chen(陈锦炜)2, Kaifeng Deng(邓凯丰)1, and Ru-Dong Wang(王汝栋)1
1 Institute of Public Safety Research/Department of Engineering Physics, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China;
2 Department of Electronic Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China;
3 Hefei Institute for Public Safety Research, Tsinghua University, Hefei 230601, China
Abstract  The study of the panic evacuation process is of great significance to emergency management. Panic not only causes negative emotions such as irritability and anxiety, but also affects the pedestrians decision-making process, thereby inducing the abnormal crowd behavior. Prompted by the epidemiological SIR model, an extended floor field cellular automaton model was proposed to investigate the pedestrian dynamics under the threat of hazard resulting from the panic contagion. In the model, the conception of panic transmission status (PTS) was put forward to describe pedestrians' behavior who could transmit panic emotions to others. The model also indicated the pedestrian movement was governed by the static and hazard threat floor field. Then rules that panic could influence decision-making process were set up based on the floor field theory. The simulation results show that the stronger the pedestrian panic, the more sensitive pedestrians are to hazards, and the less able to rationally find safe exits. However, when the crowd density is high, the panic contagion has a less impact on the evacuation process of pedestrians. It is also found that when the hazard position is closer to the exit, the panic will propagate for a longer time and have a greater impact on the evacuation. The results also suggest that as the extent of pedestrian's familiarity with the environment increases, pedestrians spend less time to escape from the room and are less sensitive to the hazard. In addition, it is essential to point out that, compared with the impact of panic contagion, the pedestrian's familiarity with environment has a more significant influence on the evacuation.
Keywords:  hazard      panic contagion      evacuation      cellular automaton  
Received:  05 October 2021      Revised:  06 January 2022      Accepted manuscript online:  12 January 2022
PACS:  04.25.dc (Numerical studies of critical behavior, singularities, and cosmic censorship)  
  89.40.-a (Transportation)  
  05.50.+q (Lattice theory and statistics)  
  07.05.Tp (Computer modeling and simulation)  
Fund: Project supported by the National Key Technology Research and Development Program of China (Grant No. 2019YFC0810804) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 7197010332).
Corresponding Authors:  Tao Chen     E-mail:

Cite this article: 

Guan-Ning Wang(王冠宁), Tao Chen(陈涛), Jin-Wei Chen(陈锦炜), Kaifeng Deng(邓凯丰), and Ru-Dong Wang(王汝栋) Simulation of crowd dynamics in pedestrian evacuation concerning panic contagion: A cellular automaton approach 2022 Chin. Phys. B 31 060402

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