Evacuation simulations using cellular automata
Keywords:Computer Simulation, Cellular Automata, Behavioral dyamics for pedestrians, Building Evacuation
Computer simulations using Cellular Automata (CA) have been applied with considerable success in diferent scientific areas, such as chemistry, biochemistry, economy, physics, etc. In this work we use CA in order to specify and implement a simulation model that allows to investigate behavioral dynamics for pedestrians in an emergency evacuation. In particular, we will concentrate on those cases that involve the forced evacuation of a large number of people due to the threat of the fire, within a building with a specific number of exits. The work includes a brief introduction to the main concepts of CA that were considered for implementing the simulation model. As support of the model, a new simulation system named EVAC is presented which allows to design, construct, execute, visualize and analyze different configurations of the building to be evacuated. The experimental work allows to identify important safety aspects to be considered at the time of designing a building, to detect the strengths of the CA approach when used as simulation tool and to suggest possible extensions that would allow to represent some particularities of the problem in a more suitable way.
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