State-of-the-art crowd motion simulation models

Dorine C. Duives, Winnie Daamen, Serge P. Hoogendoorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

300 Citations (Scopus)


Currently, pedestrian simulation models are used to predict where, when and why hazardous high density crowd movements arise. However, it is questionable whether models developed for low density situations can be used to simulate high density crowd movements. The objective of this paper is to assess the existent pedestrian simulation models with respect to known crowd phenomena in order to ascertain whether these models can indeed be used for the simulation of high density crowds and to indicate any gaps in the field of pedestrian simulation modeling research.This paper provides a broad, but not exhaustive overview of the crowd motion simulation models of the last decades. It is argued that any model used for crowd simulation should be able to simulate most of the phenomena indicated in this paper. In the paper cellular automata, social force models, velocity-based models, continuum models, hybrid models, behavioral models and network models are discussed. The comparison shows that the models can roughly be divided into slow but highly precise microscopic modeling attempts and very fast but behaviorally questionable macroscopic modeling attempts. Both sets of models have their use, which is highly dependent on the application the model has originally been developed for. Yet, for practical applications, that need both precision and speed, the current pedestrian simulation models are inadequate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-209
Number of pages17
JournalTransportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Assessment
  • Comparison
  • Crowd phenomena
  • Pedestrian
  • Pedestrian simulation models
  • Self-organization

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