Can technology help avoid stampedes?
It seems the cruellest and most unnecessary of deaths – to be crushed in the midst of a crowd. But even in the 21st Century such deaths are still common, as a stampede at a recent Hindu festival in India, which killed about 115 people, proved all too sadly. Horror quickly turned to anger as the Indian media reported that better crowd management could have prevented the tragedy. But can technology also play a role in making sure that such disasters are not repeated?
Data-Driven Modelling of Pedestrian Crowds (Doctoral thesis)
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.