Human crowds and pedestrian groups exhibit complex and coordinated spatio-temporal patterns such as the spontaneous spatial organization of pedestrian flows into lines, the oscillations of fluxes at gates or intersections, or the distribution of individuals in department stores. The understanding of these phenomena requires a deeper knowledge of the laws which govern the interactions of the individuals between themselves and with their environment.
The goals of the present project are the experimental and theoretical study of the formation of spatio-temporal structures within moving human groups and the development of realistic mathematical and simulation models of crowds based on these experimental data. The present project aims at investigating these structures through a detailed quantitative study realized at different scales, with the aid of modelling and mathematical tools classically used in applied mathematics and statistical physics. Our goal is to better understand the role of the various (physical and behavioural) parameters which control and modulate these structures in perfectly controlled and standardized conditions and to propose efficient control strategies which allow the management of pedestrian groups and crowds.
Crowd modelling and simulation is a challenging problem which has a broad range of applications from public safety to entertainment industries through architectural and urban design, transportation management, etc. Common and crucial needs for these applications are the evaluation and improvement (both quantitatively and qualitatively) of existing models, the derivation of new experimentally-based models and the construction of hierarchical links between these models at the various scales.
The strength of this project lies in the utilization of a dual approach, both of ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom up’ nature, and in the strong link between experimentation and modelling.