Data-Driven Modelling of Pedestrian Crowds (Doctoral thesis)

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At the starting point of the work leading to this doctoral thesis, in January 2005, the work on pedestrians was oriented towards computer simulations and evacuation experiments. Since then, there have been many studies on new methods for extracting empirical data of pedestrian movements (mainly based on video analysis, lasers, and infrared cameras), but most of the work is still focused on artificial setups. There is a knowledge gap between these experiments and the understanding of the dynamics leading to and occurring during large crowd disasters. Video recordings from the crowd disaster in Mina, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in January 2006, where hundreds of pilgrims lost their lives during the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Makkah, gave the possibility to scientifically evaluate the dynamics of the crowd. Based on the insights from the video analysis of the crowd disaster described above, new tools and measures to detect and avoid critical crowd conditions have been proposed, and some of them have been implemented in order to reduce the likelihood of similar disasters in the future.

(Anders Johansson – 2008. Anders is now CrowdVision’s CTO.)

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