Animal dynamics based approach for modeling pedestrian crowd egress under panic conditions

Nirajan Shiwakoti, Majid Sarvi, Geoff Rose, Martin Burd

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperOtherpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Collective movement is important during emergencies such as natural disasters or terrorist attacks, when rapid egress is essential for escape. The development of quantitative theories and models to explain and predict the collective dynamics of pedestrians has been hindered by the lack of complementary data under emergency conditions. Collective patterns are not restricted to humans, but have been observed in other non-human biological systems. In this study, a mathematical model for crowd panic is derived from collective animal dynamics. The development and validation of the model is supported by data from experiments with panicking Argentine ants (Linepithema humile). A first attempt is also made to scale the model parameters for collective pedestrian traffic from those for ant traffic, by employing a scaling concept approach commonly used in biology.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication19th International Symposium on Transportation and Traffic Theory, ISTTT19
Subtitle of host publicationBerkeley, CA, United States, 18 - 20 July 2011
EditorsMichael J. Cassidy, Alexandros Skabardonis
Place of PublicationNetherlands
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventInternational Symposium on Transportation and Traffic Theory 2011 - Berkeley, United States of America
Duration: 18 Jul 201120 Jul 2011
Conference number: 19th

Publication series

NameProcedia: Social and Behavioral Sciences
ISSN (Electronic)1877-0428


ConferenceInternational Symposium on Transportation and Traffic Theory 2011
Country/TerritoryUnited States of America


  • Ants
  • Biological entities
  • Collective patterns
  • Crowd dynamics
  • Evacuation
  • Pedestrians panic
  • Scaling
  • Self-organization
  • Traffic dynamics

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